Miki Purnell blossoms on “Midnight Bloom”


Follow-up albums can be a risky proposition. If the first was well-received, odds are low that the next one will garner the same attention. However, singer Miki Purnell is betting the odds with “Midnight Bloom” her sophomore effort. The album follows her debut album, “Swingin’ to the Sea.”

On “Midnight Bloom,” Purnell presents 14 songs, one of which (the title track) is wholly original. Purnell’s voice exudes energy and her lack of pitchiness is bound to be a plus for audiences.

Of all the songs on “Midnight Bloom,” the title track stands out the most. Its lyrical inventiveness, Purnell’s vocal approach and the classic jazz sound of the music are aspects that make the song come to life.

About Miki Purnell

Purnell was born in Hiroshima, Japan. Her musical exploration began when she was a child. Purnell took classical piano lessons for seven years and found that she loved to sing. She discovered jazz in college, and particularly took to the recording “Blue in Green” by Miles Davis/Bill Evans. Purnell also took to the vocal stylings of Chet Baker, Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson, Julie London and Blossom Dearie.

Ultimately, Purnell began to write her own songs, sing in a jazz club and won a song contest. But, another career would become the focus of Purnell’s life. She became a doctor and re-located to Hawaii.

Even while she worked as a physician, Purnell still found time to release her debut album. “Swingin’ to the Sea” received favorable reviews in the US, the Caribbean, Japan and Europe.

“Midnight Bloom” by Miki Purnell

Purnell’s voice is high-pitched, but mature. She holds notes and it is as if her voice becomes stronger. The piano plays a gentle motif, and neither Purnell’s voice nor the instrument takes the forefront of the soundscape.

The song reverberates with the echoes of Purnell’s sustained notes. Her treatment of the vowels border exquisite. Purnell’s approach to song is engaging. “Midnight Bloom” is a lovely sophomore effort. Hopefully, audiences will have opportunity to hear more from her in the years to come.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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