Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground | Wishes

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by Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground

Sasha Masakowski, at once fearless and charming, is a vocalist of startling range—from the traditional to the trippy.
Genre: Jazz: Contemporary Jazz
Release Date: 

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  song title
artist name
1. Wishes Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground
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7:34 $0.99
2. Syndrome Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground
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3. Canto de Ossanha Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground
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6:06 $0.99
4. Yours: A Love/Hate Letter to my Hometown Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground
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5:05 $0.99
5. Theme for Falling Leaves Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground
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4:39 $0.99
6. St. James Infirmary Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground
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6:54 $0.99
7. Colossus Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground
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8. Life on Mars Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground
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6:21 $0.99
9. Tacea La Notte Placida Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground
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5:34 $0.99
10. Manha de Carnaval Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground
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11. E Preciso Perdoar Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground
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12. Pieces of You Sasha Masakowski & Musical Playground
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Album Notes
As a singer with a musician's flare for improvisation and color, Masakowski moves quickly away from the new standard of well-dressed ape-ists, stuck forever in some blow-dried, blindingly safe version of straight-ahead institutionalism. She has place in that tradition, but works furiously here and on Bionica's Take Your City, to push out on the edges.

Drummer Julian Addison does a good job, for instance, of roughing up “St. James," one of the more well-trod New Orleans favorites. Masakowski then uses the open spaces to more fully survey the pain of those left behind. She gets caught on the half-line “he'll never find," repeating it over and over, exposing a raw nerve, before finally letting go: ..." another love like mine."

Elsewhere, Maskakowski confidently extemporizes through the tangled jumble of invention by pianist James Westfall and bassist Jasen Weaver on the title track of Wishes, an original by Masakowski. “Yours," co-written with producer Westfall, is a whispering, Rhodes-driven ballad that floats like smoke. The soon-to-be released EP closes with “Canto de Oassanha," this shimmering Brazilian number that recalls her work around town with Nova Nola. Masakowski adds a spicy samba vocal amid layered rhythms, and another delicately ruminative solo by Westfall on the electric piano. - courtesy of Something Else!


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Tim Marino

Wonderful "Wishes" Comes True ...
Sasha has made an adventurous, striking second album, full of a worldly range of her musical Wishes, expressed in personal lyrics about life's paradoxical twists & turns. The title song starts off frisky & lively, as she boldly & humbly declares "we are beautiful people ... we are incredibly wise ... we are filled with delusions ... each one a reflection of life". Her natural, melodic scatting, one with & over the piano, grabs the ear, before the sonic backdrop richly rises almost symphonically in the chorus. "Yours: A Love/Hate Letter to my Hometown" is imbued with a warm sincerity in her voice with a plush cushion of vibes, as she airs out her feelings about the gains & pains in New Orleans, sketching out intriguing lines like "tainted beauty, paint me with the colors of your song". She boldly takes on the venerable "St. James Infirmary", parading out over a martial beat over plaintive piano notes, colored with some wild, high scatting. Besides the rich cribbed Cab Calloway-colored chorus "... hi dee hi dee hee, he'll never find no one like me", get ready for this famous fatal, final scene- "now when I die, please lay my body in Versace from head to toe, so when they close my golden casket, in style they'll see me go ... six poker dealers for my pallbearers ... with a red-hot band playing all my music, raising hell as we go". Her sweet voice with her Dad Steve Masakowski's elegant guitar work on "Falling Leaves" & "Tacea Le Notte Placida" are an irresistable match that produces simply spare beautiful music. Let's hope there's a future album of merely Masakowski pere and fille ... a pure musical family affair. Sasha really grows and glows on "E Preciso Perdoar", a Brazilian standard she also put on her "Musical Playground" debut album. She used smooth, overdubbed, self-hamonizing on that album, but she comes in close here with an intimate tone, starting out with some free-wheeling scatting before moving confidently into the lush Latin number. While the musical tapestry gradually appears tastefully behind her, Sasha grabs your ear whenever she so freely and joyously scats onto higher ground. "Pieces of You" is a very personal relationship ending, and album-closing bookend to the opening "Wishes". Her bluesy vocal opening over a single-note piano is so compelling ... "so you should ask if it's you that I love, well I couldn't tell you enough ... how hard it is to admit that it's over now". Once the band fully kicks into full stop-start tempo, the chorus lays out the rise and the fall ... "pieces of you are beautiful and I'm dreaming ... but dreams are a scheme, for beauty is so misleading". Album producer James Westfall's piano solos on "Pieces ..." and throughout are first rate, full of fleet fingering, in colorful flourishes without being excessive. His clean, airy production allows Sasha's rich, supple voice to be complimented nicely by her young, talented quartet. And if I may take a piece out of "Pieces ...", my ears can't wait to love the sounds of Sasha's precious spirit in all its musical mysteries in the future.