Kayle’ Brecher’s “Kayleidoscope” is full of surprises

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“Kayleidoscope” is vocalist, arranger, and composer Kayle’ Brecher’s eighth recording. She has created new arrangements for classic songs. The arrangements illustrate her approach to re-visioning songs. With a hearty ensemble of more than a dozen musicians, Brecher brings a fresh style to beloved tunes. Among them, “My Favorite Things.”

A bit about Brecher

Brecher’s early days as a singer have the makings of a television drama. In her early teens she sang the blues in clubs around Greenwich Village in her native New York City. Since then, Brecher’s career has gone on to include festivals, concerts, a documentary film soundtrack, and seven critically acclaimed albums. It might be safe to say that in the near future, Brecher will have eight such albums to her credit.

Brecher attended Temple University, where she majored in performance and compositions and arranging. She graduated summa cum laude. Brecher still resides in the Philadelphia area.

“My Favorite Things” by Kayle’ Brecher

With the holidays a not-too-distant memory, “A Few Of My Favorite Things” seems the perfect late January antidote to the winter doldrums.

Brecher’s version of the classic tune has some expected and unexpected turns. One is the richness of the soundscape. And, in light of that full sound, Brecher manages not to get overwhelmed. There is a strong balance between vocalist and musicians.

In addition, Brecher’s style and phrasing takes the notes up at times when some audiences might have expected them to go down. This would have created a faux smoky effect that does not work for every voice type. Brecher’s voice is used to its high-pitched advantage. That said, she does not squeak. Rather, the sound is full and mature. There is conviction behind the words she sings. The grown-up approach to this song is unique. Brecher also provides some vocalese at the end that is a nice touch. With “My Favorite Things” Brecher shows the style liberties that can be taken with a song loved by millions to make it new again.

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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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