Jazz Review: Sasha’s Bloc (Featuring Jane Monheit)-Heart On Fire

Release Date: March 17, 2015
Label: Indie

When was the last time you heard an album by a current artist that brought back the heyday of jazz and big bands? I suggest you look no further than Sasha’s Bloc and their bevy of guest performers on their excellent new release Heart On Fire.

The recording features the poignant vocals of one Ms. Jane Monheit (who covers 4 tracks by Alex Gershman). There are 10 people pictured on the inner sleeve of this CD, which are the main players in this band. It is no wonder the sound is so full and original while being true to the roots of great jazz music.

“Lonely Day In Paris” is the way the album starts and it’s as picturesque as the title suggests. From that point the stage is set and in place to fall into jazz heaven. Turn it up, sit back and listen to real music with a long history and culture that needs more appreciation than it currently gets.

The album takes you on a journey that brings the legacy of Jazz back to life like a full blooming flower in spring. It jumps, jives, and makes your soul dance. If it’s a warm and romantic slow burner you yearn for then “Heart On Fire” will do the trick. It is an appropriate title track in every sense of what that stands for and or implies. If your heart is not literally on fire in some fashion after hearing this track you need to be examined to see if you still have blood flowing through those veins!

For a complete change of pace “Angel” sounds like a soundtrack to an old gangster flick…picture the scene during prohibition as you walk through the secret passageway, give the password through the peep hole then you enter the smoky booze filled hall where all the action is. Patrick Tuzzolino has the perfect vocal style and pitch to deliver the song with some snap and feeling to put you right there as the scene unfolds and the joint gets jumpin’.

Then if you want to cut away from all the vocals, the instrumental “Duke” lets you just float away and create your own scenery. This is a nice change and an opportunity to focus in on all the talented musicians that contribute to this album. It's smooth jazz baby with an old time flair and sophistication that will certainly be appreciated by any jazz connoisseur.

“Manhattan” closes the curtain and ushers in complete joy while throwing you back to a time when the Andrews Sisters were entertaining the troops during WW2. The New Orleans style horns create that party in the streets atmosphere and the vocals are spot on for that timeframe. It is a nod to those famous sisters that shaped an era in time that will never be duplicated again. This is as close as it gets folks.

Heart On Fire is a wonderful album that once again reminded me why I loved jazz and big band music. I used to listen to all that music my parents had when I was a little boy and that is where it all started for me. Thank you Sasha’s Bloc for all the entertainment, great music and sweet memories you brought back with your music!

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Lonely Day In Paris, Angel, Manhattan

01. Lonely Day in Paris (feat. Patrick Tuzzolino)
02. Feels Like Jazz (feat. Jane Monheit)
03. Anything Is Possible (feat. Nora Rothman & Patrick Tuzzolino)
04. Black and Blue (feat. Glynis Leflore, Alvin Chea, Octavia Pace & Princess Fortier)
05. Breakfast (feat. Jane Monheit, Princess Fortier, Glynis Leflore & Octavia Pace)
06. Take a Chance (feat. Nora Rothman)
07. Heart On Fire (feat. Jane Monheit)  
08. Angel (feat. Patrick Tuzzolino, Octavia Pace, Glynis Leflore & Princess Fortier)
09. The Duke
10. Sunday Blues (feat. Jane Monheit)
11. Manhattan (feat. Octavia Pace, Glynis Leflore & Prin
cess Fortier)

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck-Write A Music Review Founder
March 16, 2015
Review Provided By Write A Music Review

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