With Susan Krebs on vocals are Rich Eames in piano, Jerry Kalaf on drums and vibraphone, Rob Lockart and Doug Walter on woodwinds, Domenic Genova on bass, Scott Breadman on percussion, and Riner Scivally on guitar. Together, they produce the good stuff.
Susan describes the music like this: “Mid pandemic, living alone, I was longing for connection. I especially missed being in the creative zone with my longtime musical comrades. I felt a deep need to gather ourselves however we might and make music, the pandemic notwithstanding. Soon we were off again on a new musical endeavor!... Focusing on this project gave me relief from my isolation and returned me to a sense of well-being, the lift of musicmaking, a bomb for us all. I'm grateful.”
And it shows. The song selection is excellent with two Hoagy Carmichael selections and tunes by Sandy Denny and Frank Loesser and others. They all work and they flow seamlessly together.
She opens the album with the Frank Loesser and Jimmy McHugh’s Can’t Get Out of This Mood, an emotional stroll with cool percussion and splendid vocal delivery. Susan’s vocals, teamed with the vibes and the woodwinds make this a great listen.
The title song, Daybreak, by Ferde Grofe is from the 1926 Mississippi; Tone Journey, an orchestral suite in four parts. Harold Adamson wrote the lyrics for the piece, which was originally the final movement. That was when the song became Daybreak and was recorded by Harry James, Jimmy Dorsey, and Tommy Dorsey and their vocalists and orchestras. All three releases reached the top 20 charts. Susan and the band make it as warm and sultry as you could wish. Beautiful.
The first Hoagy Carmichael tune is How Little We Know with lyrics by the great Johnny Mercer. It is splendidly arranged by Doug Walter and performed on guitar exquisitely by Riner Scivally. The vocals are straight-ahead the band nails it.
Inside a Silent Tear by Blossom Dearie and Linda Albert and again arranged by Doug Walter. The Rich Eames piano is so cool and the rhythm section is right on. The slow-mover is lush and wonderful. Then comes Sandy Denny’s Who Knows Where the Time Goes?, which she recorded with the Strawbs in 1967. The song was picked up by Judy Collins before Sandy rereleased the song with the band Fairport Convention in 1969. Listen to any of Sandy Denny’s version and hear what Susan Krebs and Mixed Remotions have done so beautifully with it.
Dave Frishberg’s Listen Here is a warm piece with great vibes and beautiful woodwinds to set up the Susan Krebs vocals. Then Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust closes the album. It is a beautiful song and Susan and the fellas perform it splendidly. The Latin rhythms make for a cool switch-up and Susan’s vocals and Rob Lockart’s soprano sax are wonderful together.
Susan Krebs and Mixed Remotions’ Daybreak is a great revisiting and reimagining of some of the great pieces of the American Songbook. The arrangements and the performances are excellent and make you happy to hear those songs once more.
~Travis Rogers, Jr. is The Jazz Owl