CD Review *****
Every song performance is a winner on this pleasing and enjoyable CD collection. Armi Grano is one of the finest jazz vocalists on the contemporary jazz music scene. She has a voice that lingers in the mind, at once sweet, sensitive and sensual, and intimate. There is much emotional appeal in her clear, warm voice, and it is sure to attract many jazz listeners.
..... a fine collection from an enchanting jazz vocalist whose phrasing will please listeners everywhere.
Reviewed by Lee Prosser
International song stylist Armi Grano loves music, but especially life. And you can bet she knows the real meaning of it after surviving a bout with Breast Cancer last year. It was a life-altering event, which made her truly evaluate what meant the most to her in her life. Part of this soul-search helped her to focus on her true love of making music. "I had been thinking about it for a long time," said Armi. "I figured I might as well do what I want to do."
Now this stunning jazz vocalist has just finished her second album, which was partly recorded in Mexico. While recovering from her cancer treatments, she recorded the beds for this album, entitled "Latin Color", with a dynamic electric jazz group, the Pax Trio. The album was released in November 2001 to a sold out show and a well attended media release party at Rossini's Gastown, a popular jazz venue in Vancouver. The album, produced by Torben Oxbol, has splendid arrangements performed by top musicians from Canada, US and Mexico. "Latin Color" is anxiously awaited due to the buzz created in the Vancouver market in 2000 by her freshman effort entitled "Satin Dreams", produced by Juno award winner, Mark Hasselbach. "Satin Dreams" established itself firmly in the hearts of buyers as it was consistently ranked among the top 5 independently released albums according to figures released by HMV. Both albums are currently enjoying airplay at radio stations such as 600 AM, 96.1 FM, CKUA-Alberta,CBC Radio Canada and Mexico.
In Vancouver, Canada, Armi is a favorite at leading clubs and hotels such as The Pan Pacific, The Westin, The Four Seasons, The Crowne Plaza, Fairmont Vancouver Hotel, and The Sheraton. She performs every year at the Chartwell of the Four Seasons Hotel for the New Year's Eve celebration. However, Armi's vision is international. Originally from the Philippines, Armi expands her performances to international shores. She has been known to grace stages throughout Asia, including Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Manila. Adding to her appeal and diversity, she is able to captivate audiences by singing in five different languages including Spanish, English, Japanese, Portuguese, and Filipino. Her influences include Ella Fitzgerald, Astrud Gilberto, Nancy Wilson, Sergio Mendes and Dakota Staton, which have helped her to develop her own blend of music featuring an exciting mix of Latin, pop, swing and jazz influences.
Although a survivor of a Breast Cancer, Armi is an untiring philanthropist. She is often involved in fund raising events such as the CIBC Run for the Cure, B.C. Children's Hospital Telethon and United Way Campaign. Part of this philanthropic focus manifested in Armi being featured in the "Look Good Feel Better" magazine of the CCTFA, which came out with the August 2001 issue of Chatelaine, Canadian Living and Flare magazines.
She was a featured artist at the Vancouver Asian Heritage Month with a concert at the Norman Rothstein Theatre backed up by Miles Black Quartet. She has also appeared in the annual Vancouver event, the Du Maurier International Jazz Festival with the John Nolan Trio, Dal Richards, Mark Hasselbach and Linton Garner.
Media coverage includes the CBC radio program "Early Edition" with Rick Cluff, "Dal's Place" with Dal Richards, TV programs "Daytime" and "Plugged In". In 1997, Armi performed at the APEC Conference held in Vancouver and was the featured artist at the Pan Pacific Hotel for two months leading to the conference.