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“While the world is has no shortage of Independent jazz vocalists, thankfully Maxwell conveys with an unpretentious and delightfully easy-going delivery. While much of the material here is familiar standards and recognizable pop songs, Maxwell’s delightful way interpreting the true meaning of each cut allows the songs to take on a fresh perspective that neither disrespects the writer’s intention or the spirit of the song. Opening with “I’ll Take Romance,” there is an subtly to the swing that is underpinned by Keith Ingram’s smart and intoxicating support all the while allowing Maxwell to paint her vocal interpretations. ”Someone To Watch Over Me,” is a moving tune sincerely delivered and adorned with Maxwell’s gentle ability to swing with stylishness. “Skylark” though a widely covered cut, is given a new treatment and truly shines as one of Maxwell’s more convincing tracks on this delightful offering... Maxwell delivers a lasting impression of blissfull Happin”
“If a review were to boiled down into one word then happy would work straight across the board. Lisa Maxwell exudes a very real joy in her craft, a genuine exuberance of appreciation for a gift she is fortunate to be able to share with the rest of us. While some singers quickly find themselves worked into a narcissistic corner attempting to convince others of a level of artistic greatest that even they are unaware of, Maxwell sings with an air of unpretentiousness unique to the recording industry today. Her phrasing, articulation and appealing tone are all carried off with the apparent understanding that the song is to be center stage while Maxwell is but the earthly vessel transporting such artistic beauty. While much of the material here is familiar, Maxwell's own special interpretations allow a fresh perspective on timeless classics that neither disrespect the original or herself. ...Maxwell does more than sing the words she instead makes the music which is a rare gift. ”
“If you get to the point where you can gig with pianist Keith Ingham, you're in heady company. That's what Maxwell has accomplished. Ingham, you see, has accompanied such gifted singers as Maxine Sullivan and Susnnah McCorkle, so he knows all the subtleties of his craft. Maxwell has a rather soft, slightly Blossom Dearie-ish voice and seems to convey the meaning of a lyric in a very honest and direct fashion. Certainly it doesn't do any harm to Maxwell's effort when she gives us a selection of both honored evergreens ("I'll Take Romance," "It Might as Well Be Spring," "Someone To Watch Over Me," "Blue Moon" and "Skylark"). Along with these, Maxwell mixes in a few lesser known goodies including "You Can't Lose A Broken Heart" and others. Maxwell doesn't force a note, nearly letting the music somehow "sing itself." And that's a pretty good trick.”
"...Lisa & Keith were made for each other..." "...It's impossible not to hear this and develop an immediate crush on Lisa. She is spirited, youthful, charming, warm and utterly engaging–with a complete affinity for the honest sentiment of this era of song."
“Lisa Maxwell's debut, Return to Jazz Standards (Self Produced, 2010), was well-received when released, marking the New York singer's recovery and comeback from a vocal cord disorder that sidelined her for several years earlier in the decade. Maxwell returns with Happy, a recital of not-so-standard standards, supported by Maxwell's coach, pianist Keith Ingham, and his fine quartet. The result is an evolution in cohesiveness and vision. In a word, Maxwell's Happy is breezy. Her voice has filled out in all the right places and betrays a youthful, scrubbed, girl-next-door coquettishness. "Pretty" and "unadorned" will also describe this voice. Maxwell's natural instrument is her greatest asset, and her singing philosophy bears the same pretty and unadorned characteristics as her voice. A fan of melody, Maxwell is conservative in her adherence, more often than not. to the composer's melodic intent, demonstrated most clearly in textbook readings of "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Skylark".”
“It is impossible to listen to Lisa Maxwell sing and not be affected by the warmth in her voice, the sensual touch of her inflections or the attachment she has to the lyrics radiating in her delivery. Like actors who delve into the characterization of the roles they play, Maxwell delves into the mindset of the lyrics she sings making the songs personable and inducing an intimate setting between herself and her audience.Her latest album appropriately titled Happy is recorded with the Keith Ingham Quartet who backs her up with balmy lounge music as she travels through a selection of ballroom standards such as "I'll Take Romance" and "Skylark" which share the attention with such classic pop tunes as "Going out of My Head" and "My Heart Goes with You."”
“Maxwell finds the ingénue voice that Eden Atwood shouldhave found 20 years ago if she wanted to be 6 years ahead of the jazz divapack. With an innocent but skilled voice leading the way thorough a solidset of jazz oldies, Maxwell makes a solid, straight ahead jazz vocal setthat avoids all the clichés of lite jazz and simply delivers a winning setfrom all involved. With smart backing from Keith Ingham, who knows a smartvocalist when he backs one, the vibe is so right that this becomesirresistible. For jazzbos that just want to enjoy themselves, this is thereal deal.”
“In a word, Maxwell's Happy is breezy. Her voice has filled out in all the right places and betrays a youthful, scrubbed, girl-next-door coquettishness. "Pretty" and "unadorned" will also describe this voice. Maxwell's natural instrument is her greatest asset, and her singing philosophy bears the same pretty and unadorned characteristics as her voice. A fan of melody, Maxwell is conservative in her adherence, more often than not. to the composer's melodic intent, demonstrated most clearly in textbook readings of "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Skylark," two amply road-tested pieces, dusted off here.”
“It is impossible to listen to Lisa Maxwell sing and not be affected by the warmth in her voice, the sensual touch of her inflections or the attachment she has to the lyrics radiating in her delivery. Like actors who delve into the characterization of the roles they play, Maxwell delves into the mindset of the lyrics she sings making the songs personable and inducing an intimate setting between herself and her audience. Her latest album appropriately titled Happy is recorded with the Keith Ingham Quartet who backs her up with balmy lounge music as she travels through a selection of ballroom standards such as "I'll Take Romance" and "Skylark" which share the attention with such classic pop tunes as "Going out of My Head" and "My Heart Goes with You." Produced by Maxwell and Ingham, the ties which they use to bind the recording recall of the Golden Age of ballroom jazz performed by such graceful vocalists as Doris Day and Shirley Horn.”
“...A mix of creamy instrumentation and bubbly riffs, Return To Jazz Standards is pure pleasure from start to finish. Maxwell makes jazz music meaningful and able to induce pleasure in audiences. ”
“Lisa Maxwell – RETURN TO JAZZ STANDARDS: There’s clearly something to be said for the old standards – & Lisa says it all quite well, thanks very much! Settle back into your favorite groove chair & scope out her rendition of “Lazy Afternoon” – some of the most beautiful strings I’ve heard this year (or last, or the year before) – but it’s Lisa’s high-talent energy that makes the tune come ALIVE! Her rendition of “The Shadow Of Your Smile” will give you a great big grin from ear-to-ear. I’m not always enamored of “standards” albums, because unless they’re infused with the kind of high spirit Lisa brings to all her work, they can feel kind of “re-hashed”; no danger of that here… all 11 tracks are stellar.”
“Lisa’s voice is very endearing; a non-affected delivery gives the listener a pleasing experience. Husband George Newall provides all the instrumentation except for guest artist John Allred on trombone. All equally contribute to the beautiful fabric of the release. Maxwell and Newall complement each other quite well; Newall creates a perfect pad for Maxwell to sell the listener on the lyric. “Lazy Afternoon,” a classic standard that seems to be getting a lot more focus lately, is given a string treatment by Newall creating a dreamy mood for Maxwell to easily maneuver. A truly stellar rendition, this is the track Maxwell really shines on. Her matter of fact delivery is quite effective and transcends the listener to a late night supper club where Maxwell is front and center and the spotlight is firmly fixed on her.”
“No singer or performer made it to the top without a little help from those that preceded them, and Lisa Maxwell is no exception. "Return To Jazz Standards", is a prime example of a genuine talent showing respect for those that influenced her. Produced by George Newall, "Return" is a sincere tribute to some of the genre's all time greats. From top to bottom, the album didn't have a single track that disappointed, and the music ended with me wanting to hear more. Maxwell's take on "Isn't It A Pity" by George & Ira Gershwin was the best track. It reintroduces the classic song to a new audience with a modern spin to it. This would be the song most likely to see chart success and radio airplay. It takes a special talent to share their gifts with the world, and an even bigger star to stand aside and give thanks to the artists who influenced them. Lisa Maxwell is sure to have a career with many hits over the next few years, as her class & style shine through with this album.”
“Lisa Maxwell Return To Jazz Standards 4/4 O's Notes: Lisa has a warm rich voice that invites listeners to relax. It is accentuated by her program selection that includes some bossa nova and many fine standards. She gets slot of help from producer, arranger and pianist George Newall. She sings from the heart sharing her love. There is more to this story! Lisa and George are married. 2007 dealt Maxwell a near artistic fatal blow when she succumbed to nerve damaged vocal chords. Through the miracles of modern medicine she re-emerges in 2009 better than ever. We hear her gratitude and celebration here and it is very good!”
“...She has a nice feeling for the lyrics of each song, and her phrasing is right on. The songs are familiar ones, “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To,” Meditation,” “Lazy Afternoon,” “I Hadn’t Anyone Till You,” “Love Dance,” “Call Me,” “The Shadow of Your Smile,” “Isn’t It a Pity,” What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve,” “My Romance,” and “Moonlight Savings Time.” The last track has a guest appearance by trombonist John Allred. This is Maxwell’s first album, and it is good news that she has been able to overcome her battle with health issues to produce a highly listenable and enjoyable collection of great songs well sung. (www.lisamaxwellsingsjazz.com) ”