Sarah Jerrom may not be a household name for most, but if you are a fan of jazz it's likely you will come to know this lady. Hailing out of St. Catherines, ON., Jerrom has a big, near theatrical, jazz voice, one which sounds great over a piano accompaniment, but one that could carry stage show songs too.
Illuminations is Jerrom's debut CD. It is an effort which she self-produced recording it in Toronto in August of 2006. To Jerrom's credit as a young performer, she self-arranged much of the material and was wise enough to bring in a number of noted musicians to add to the mix. They include Stu Harrison and Jamie Reynolds on piano, Harley Card on electric and acoustic guitar, Mark McIntyre on bass, David MacDougall on drums, Mike Murley on tenor sax, Alison Young on alto saxophone, Rebecca Hennessy on trumpet & fluegelhorn, and Joel Green on trombone.
So what do you get here?
Well the works include; a version of the Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer classic Skylark, which might well be the best cut here thanks to a sort of misty, unusual approach. There is what Jerrom's website terms “a funky, vocally challenging take” on Brad Mehldau’s Dusty Nugget “with clever original lyrics by Sarah”
Jerrom does add an original piece with the CD's title track, but here she can use some more experience. This one clocks in just shy of six-and-a-half minutes, and frankly I wanted it to end far sooner. A tad repetitious in its sound.
Jerrom also includes what the website termed “a pristine, classic and uncluttered version of Benny Goodman’s Stompin’ at the Savoy, featuring synchronistic rhythm section solos ... a Neil Young-inspired perspective on Don Gibson's "Oh Lonesome Me" and the final track on the CD, Heather on the Hill - the radiant Lerner & Loewe classic from their hit Broadway show, Brigadoon.
Overall, Jerrom serves notice here that an exciting new voice in emerging on the Canadian jazz scene. She certainly has the vocal capability to one day be as well-known as an Diana Krall. Check her out now as she stands on the horizon of a career which should rise into a shiningly bright one.
Check her out at www.sarahjerrom.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Dec. 26, 2007 - Yorkton, SK. Canada