Getting Some Fun out of Life

The Las Vegas Jazz Trio feat. Kai Brant

Kai Brant and the Las Vegas Jazz Trio have been a fixture in the Las Vegas area since 2012. Ms. Brant has a quietly appealing voice, a subtle style, and generates a great deal of inner heat in her singing. While she pays respect to each song’s lyrics and melody, her swinging phrasing gives a spontaneous feel to the music and marks her as a jazz singer. Getting Some Fun Out Of Life is the recording debut for Ms. Brant with her Las Vegas Trio. The singer is joined by pianist Dan Ellis (who contributes many concise solos) and the solidly supportive team of bassist Justin Vogel and drummer Andrea D’Angelo. This enjoyable set begins with a light-hearted version of “Me, Myself And I,” one of three songs on the program that is identified with Billie Holiday. Taken slightly slower than expected, “Me Myself And I” finds Kai Brant displaying phrasing similar to Lady Day’s. “The Girl From Ipanema” is a tune that fits Ms. Brant’s soft voice quite well. She is clearly inspired by Ellis’ stride piano on “Getting Some Fun Out Of Life” and excels on the always-seductive song “Whatever Lola Wants” which is given a tango feel. After a swinging rendition of “Comes Love” (which Holiday immortalized in the 1950s), the group performs an assertive version of the Louis Jordan hit “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby.” On “Walkin’ After Midnight,” which is inspired by Patsy Cline’s recording, bassist Vogel gives listeners the image of someone walking and Ellis takes his most rewarding piano solo of the set. A passionate version of “Back To Black” (made famous by Amy Winehouse) is an effective change of pace for Kai Brant before the joyful closer, “Route 66.” After listening to this fine set, it is obvious that, when one ventures to Las Vegas, one of the first stops should be to see Kai Brant and the Las Vegas Jazz Trio. --Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian and author of 11 books including The Jazz Singers

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