Review: Joy Voeth “I Wish You Love”

Joy Voeth “I Wish You Love”

21 Dec, 2010 Kelly O'Neil

The aura of Joy Voeth can enchant a person even before she sings a note, as a soulful radiance exudes from within her and enhances her already beautiful self. Voeth is awash with culture, hailing from Barbados, and having lived in Europe, America and the Middle East.  Currently she performs at exquisite establishments in Turkey and Egypt.  Those patrons are surely in for a treat.

I Wish You Love, her follow up album to her self-titled debut, was in fact recorded in Istanbul and features three of the nation’s top jazz instrumentalists.  Ozan Musluoğlu plays bass and produced the album.  Currently playing with the elite Turkish Radio and Television Jazz Orchestra, Musluoğlu expertly provides a steady and innovative backbone for each number.  Uraz Kivaner plays the piano and must be a pleasure to watch perform.  His fingers sound like they are literally flying across the keys.  Filling out the ensemble is Ferit Odman on drums.  This young man does a fantastic job of setting the mood for each song whether it’s a swinging beat or a subtle brush stroke.

At the helm is Voeth with her confident, commanding physique and lustrous voice.  She possesses the power of Heather Headley and the extreme emotional draw of Sade.  Every performance on I Wish You Love, a collection of standards, is flawless.  The album opens with Hart and Rodgers’ quick toe-tapping number “This Can’t Be Love” from The Boys From Syracuse.  The piano and drums expertly play off each other and features a solo by Musluoğlu.  The title track, originally performed by Keely Smith, is a true standout.  Kivaner has an extensive, intricate opening to this lovely ballad accompanied by a slow walking bass.  As the longest track on the album, Voeth has the chance to sweetly sing Léo Chauliac’s original French lyrics, “Que reste-t-il de nos amours?”  Voeth gives a fine, haughty delivery of Cole Porter’s scandalous “Love For Sale” from the show The New Yorkers. Odman adds a little congo work to this piece about a prostitute advertising various types of love available to paying customers.

Buddy Johnson’s “I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone” has an intense, emotional opening.  Voeth is completely exposed accompanied only by the bass.  This raw energy is built upon slowly as Kivaner enters, playing occasional subtle broken chords.  As the song progresses Odman eventually joins the scene and the tempo picks up as Voeth belts out the scornful lyrics.  Lerner and Loewe’s “Almost Like Being in Love” from Brigadoon is a cute, succinct upbeat little ditty.  Countering that is Raye and De Paul’s “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” a slow and sultry piece.

This outstanding four piece can tackle any tempo and handles transitions perfectly.  They also do a fantastic job of capturing the feel and vibe of whatever time period they are performing, from the fabulous fifties to the roaring twenties.  A prime example of this is the older piece, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love,” originally performed by Adelaide Hall in Blackbirds of 1928. Voeth follows the formula of capturing the audience with a slow, heartfelt beginning and then diving into a happy upbeat with Musluoğlu once again delivering a fine solo.  To round out I Wish You Love, the group finishes with Doris Day’s big hit “Secret Love” from Calamity Jane.

Joy Voeth is truly an enchantress of our time and has delivered a gem with I Wish You Love.  Her finely polished, booming voice gives ample justice to these treasured love songs.  The future looks vast and bright for not only Voeth but her back up musicians as well.  All involved with I Wish You Love are extreme talents and an absolute joy to listen to.

Review by Kelly O’Nei
Rating:  5 stars (out of 5)