Tracye Eileen’s “You Hit the Spot” puts a joyful spin on classic jazz

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Released late August 2022, vocalist Tracye Eileen’s latest release, “You Hit the Spot” is full of classic jazz re-done in the style of Eileen. Her vocal qualities and personality shine through each line, making listeners forget that these songs have been performed countless times. Something about Eileen’s performances adds an element of joy. Songs not to be missed are “I Love Being Here With You,” and “They Can’t Take That Away from Me.”

About Tracye Eileen

Chicago-native Eileen has led a life surrounded by music. Her father, a jazz percussionist, had to pass up an opportunity to perform with Count Basie’s band because he was drafted to participate in the Vietnam War. Eileen cites her father, Ed Smith, as being “a major influence in my life.”

That influence led to Eileen taking lead singing roles in jazz bands during her high school and college years. The love of jazz continued. Eventually, Eileen and her father would perform professionally many times.

“You Hit the Spot” is Eileen’s third full-length album. in 2018, Eileen veered away from jazz to release an r&b album. In 2020, Eileen returned to jazz and wrote an album full of original songs.

Lately, Eileen and her band have been enjoying a residency at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago, a famous jazz and blues club. Legends’ talent manager reached out to the band via LinkedIn and offered Eileen and the band a monthly residency. Six years on, Eileen and her band still perform there regularly.

Regardless of what genre Eileen performs in, the focus of any song she sings is love. “I’ve always been a fan of love songs,” Eileen revealed, “and I decided to be self-revealing, because I want my music to be authentic and real with songs that people can connect with.”

Eileen achieves that connection throughout “You Hit the Spot.” There are moments that draw smiles, inspire dancing, and create romantic images throughout the recording.

The sound of Tracye Eileen

“You Hit the Spot” kicks off with “I Love Being Here With You.” The song is jazzy in every sense of the word. The musicianship crackles with an understanding of the song’s impact on listeners. Each phrase vocal and musical is crisp. The way she sings is half the fun of the song. Eileen makes deft use of her impeccable phrasing. Listeners can feel the romance and flirtatiousness in her enunciation.

On “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” Eileen creates intimacy. Audiences are allowed a view of a relationship that is loving, fun, and honest. With her mellifluous voice, Eileen manages to maintain control of each line. Some singers might lose control of some phrases that are at the lowest end of their register – – Eileen does not have that problem. Just when audiences might think she could lose control, she grips the musicality even more firmly. That is part of the beauty of this recording.

Tracye Eileen has experience singing in more than one genre. Her work in jazz is impeccable, engaging, and entertaining. Here’s hoping that she sticks with jazz for more recordings to come.

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