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Stevie Holland: Before Love Has Gone

- CD Reviews

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Stevie Holland: Before Love Has Gone

Stevie Holland on Vocals
Martin Bejerano on Piano
Edward Perez on Bass
Willie Jones III on Drums
Ole Mathisen on Saxophone
Paul Bollenback on Guitar

Produced by Todd Barkan, Tim Peierls,
And Gary William Friedman
Arrangements by Gary William Friedman

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
March 28, 2010

This CD is a smooth collection of vocal arrangements, accompanied by Martin Bejerano’s crystal clear piano, Edward Perez’ rich bass resonance, Willie Jones III’s punctuated drums, Ole Mathisen’s lustrous sax, and Paul Bollenback’s scintillating guitar. The music is whispery mellow, uncluttered, evocative, and sentimental. Ms. Holland sings with polished ease and a yearning for the days when standards were featured on the jukebox. Her choice of instrumentalists was excellent, as each musician takes at least one breezy riff on this recording.

Notable tracks:

#3 – Where Or When -- Composed by R. Rodgers – L. Hart. Stevie Holland’s lyrics hang like raindrops on flower petals, as she whispers her way through these luscious lyrics. Martin Bejerano never overwhelms the quietude that Ms. Holland creates, but rather embellishes it with melodic sentimentality and dreaminess. Nobody is rushed here, with Willie Jones III’s cozy brushes for rhythmic effect.

#4 – Lazy Afternoon – Composed by J. Moross – J. Latouche. Ole Mathisen is featured here on a muted sax, for a midnight, moody reverie. Ms. Holland extends each lyric with hazy melancholy. Bejerano’s piano is clear, restrained, and expressive.

#5 – The Music In Me that Plays – Composed by G. W. Friedman – S. Holland. This Gary William Friedman composition is set to a Latin clavé beat, in syncopation with an animated, easy-going style. Paul Bollenback is featured on sparkling and sprightly guitar, while Edward Perez adds a buoyant bass background to Ms. Holland’s jaunty lyrics.

#7 – Daybreak – Composed by F. Grofe – H. Adamson. Bollenback shares the theme with Ms. Holland to a racy swing, backed by steady, light drums. Ms. Holland’s versatility, and that of her band, are apparent in this eclectic recording. These musicians truly seem to love making the music together.

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at