Album Review of
The Birdsongs Project

Written by Joe Ross
June 28, 2019 - 7:08pm EDT
Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star Review Rating Star

Connecticut-based jazz singer/composer Ellynne Rey follows up on her 2014 release “A Little Bit of Moonlight” with a thematic “The Birdsongs Project.” Assembling some of New York’s most sought after session musicians, she and co-producer/pianist Bennett Paster lead us on a rewarding flight of whimsical fancy as she pays tribute to our feathery friends. Whether conversing with a snowy owl or singing to a seagull, she’s given us a very pleasant (or should I say ‘phea-sant’) listen. The enchanting set exudes charm, originality and joy.  Much like flighty birds themselves, the music conveys breezy feelings of freedom, independence and personality. Relaxed sentiments like “I’d like to ruffle his plumage” (in Hoagy Carmichael’s “Baltimore Oriole”) contrast with the vocalist chirping scat to Charlie Parker’s “Ornithology” or presenting self-penned vocalese over the chordal progressions of “How High The Moon” (in “The Bluejay & The Cat”).  “The Crow” incorporates Rey’s unique lyrics written for Franz Schubert's “Die Krahe.” Their arrangement of Lennon & McCartney’s “Blackbird” is stellar. As I like the beauty of birds and the emotional flair of well-arranged jazz, I like this album.  (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)