Tuesday, September 17, 2013
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Sachal Vasandani
Song:Love Is A Losing Game
These days there is a lot of pressure on jazz singers to cross over to pop and easy listening. Sachal Vasandani's first two CDs seemed to reflect some of that pressure. But with his 2011 CD Hi-Fly, he has made a renewed commitment to jazz and that has helped him in the jazz charts. Vasandani is from Chicago and he grew up listening to his parents jazz record collection. He studied economics at the University of Michigan along with jazz and classical music. He was named Down Beat Magazine's 1999 Collegiate Jazz Vocalist of the Year. Vasandani moved to New York to work as an investment banker. But the lure of music caused him to quit his job and sing in New York clubs. After a gig with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Vasandani released two CDs independently. This got the attention of jazz label Mack Avenue Records and producer John Clayton of The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. His first two CDs seemed to straddle jazz and pop. But his 2011 CD Hi-Fly brought a renewed commitment to jazz and success on the jazz album chart. I think this comes down to choosing more sophisticated songs and arrangements because the same guys have worked with him on all three CDs. Clayton has produced all three CDs. Pianist Jeb Patton and bassist David Wong have also played on all three CDs. They are from The Heath Brothers. The newcomer is drummer Kendrick Scott who is one of New York's most in demand session musicians. They are all great on this cover of the Amy Winehouse song Love Is A Losing Game. Vasandani performs two duets with jazz vocal legend Jon Hendricks and other guests include trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and tenor sax player John Ellis. Sachal Vasandani is just finishing a tour of Southeast Asia including his parents birthplace of India. He returns to the US this week. Jazz vocal fans should check him out. Here's Sachal Vasandani with Jeb Patton, David Wong and Kendrick Scott performing Love Is A Losing Game in Pittsburgh May 2011.