Torch-lit cabaret pop is singer-songwriter-pianist Sara Jackson-Holman's
forte. Her new CD When You Dream shows facets relatable to
April Smith's sultry purring and Regina Spektor's percolating
keyboard-driven melodies. Joined by a strong ensemble of musicians
that includes Skyler Norwood on drums, Nate Crocket on
violin and viola, Jules Radkins on double bass, Jack Norwood
on electric bass, and Victor Paul Nash on trumpet, When
You Dream is geared for the stage with songs made to incite audience
The lacy pirouettes traced by Holman's keyboards along "Into
The Blue" are partnered with free spirited strings as she sulks
in a sorrowful mood, "If only I could've been yours / Been
your rapport - yours to adore / If only I would've said yes -- forgiven
the rest / Oh I could've said yes." The pouting strings swirl
and soar and then switch to a showtunes vibe in "Cellophane"
as Holman's vocals turn to a burlesque strut.
The lilting wisps circulating through "California Gold Rush"
have a cabaret flare which take on an operetta tone in "Maybe
Something's Wrong" padded in howling trumpet twirls and merry-go-round
spins. The jubilant pulse straddling "My Thorny Romance"
is supported by clanging cymbals and jangly tambourine chimes, which
contrast the sleek versing of "To Anna", showing a likeness
to Sarah Blasko. Holman dips into a vaudeville-style groove
in "Red Ink" and "Let Me In" demonstrating a penchant
for melodies that resonate like a performance piece.
Sara Jackson-Holman's songs are made to be performed on stage.
She keeps the music active both physically and emotionally. Whether
she is crafting modelesque showtunes or operetta creations, they
all stem from her natural inclination to act out her songs and give
them meaning beyond her words.
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