Carol Welsman’s “Skylark” turns jazz into a gentle pondering

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Carol Welsman is a jazz singer and pianist from Toronto, Canada. The performer has been nominated for a JUNO Award six times and hails from a musical family. Welsman brings her breadth of experience and sensitive interpretation skills to bear on the classic written by Jonny Mercer and Hoagy Carmichael, “Skylark.”

About Carol Welsman

Welsman’s website is full of information about her musical family. The Canadian also has Italian, Irish and English roots, and what those varied groups of people had in common, seemingly, was music. Welsman’s discussion about her parents’ musical vocations is interesting, as her mother was a piano teacher, and her father “played saxophone and clarinet quite well.”

As if her family wasn’t enough of a musical influence, Welsman has another cool factoid in her family tree. Welsman’s website explains that her paternal grandfather was the first conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Welsman’s approach to jazz is classic and fun. She has an album called “I Like Men,” which is worth exploring based on the title alone. Beyond titles, Welsman’s voice is confident and self-possessed. Her ability to interpret songs makes her renditions worth listening to. One example of this cool confidence is the work she puts into “Skylark.”

“Skylark” by Carol Welsman

A bright, but bittersweet piano motif opens the song. Welsman’s husky voice fills up the soundscape. This is remarkable because sometimes deeper women’s voices are accompanied by a great deal of air. But Welsman offers a pure song of love and longing.

Welsman’s phrasing shifts just right and is perfectly complemented by the gentle, almost sparse piano. The song’s dynamics are punctuated by Welsman’s singing – – audiences can feel the song moving toward its logical conclusion, even without looking at running times, and with no prior knowledge of the original. The sections of the song come together in a way that makes sense and it neither stops too abruptly nor does drag on too long.  There is a feeling of a series of upward swings, even though this song is clearly a ballad, and not a swinging, mid-or fast-tempo piece. The beauty and calm of Welsman’s version of “Skylark” invite multiple listens.

“Skylark” is found on Welsman’s latest release, “For You.” The singer has made the work available on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and by ordering online.

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