Lissy Walker is a jazz singer, but her wide-ranging musical interests set her apart from your average chanteuse. She’s been an actress and singer for most of her life and brings a dramatic sensibility to her jazz vocals with nuances of folk, pop, and country. Walker’s burnished vocals have a hint of restrained passion that suggests country music, but her phrasing, which dances around before and after the beat, is pure jazz. Her low-key approach is folky at times, but raw emotion lurks just beneath the surface, adding an alluring tension to her performances. Walker explores the soulful strains of The Great American Songbook, and in particular, the melancholic melodies of Irving Berlin, along with the jazz‐inflected sounds of Nick Drake and Harry Nilsson, the pop balladeering of Ray Davies, and the honky‐tonk rhythms of Randy Newman.
"I wanted both jazz and folk musicians for this album, to bring together the things I love about music." The album boasts some of the Bay Area's and New York's finest musicians, who lay down a laid-back and sultry jazz groove.
The folk/ jazz ethos of the album can be traced to several tributaries: Walker’s early classical and ragtime piano training, the Berkeley High Jazz program of the legendary Phil Hardymon (who set Walker up with her first jazz combo), vocal and theatre training at UCLA and The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, and a love for the emotional immediacy of popular song.
The result is a quiet classic, with the musicians placing their restrained virtuosity in the service of Walker’s subtle vocals to deliver an album that keeps revealing its emotional and musical intensity with repeated listenings.