Audrey Bussanich – Go For a Drive Live Sessions
Recorded live in a single take – this 5-cut acoustic EP is impressive in how the recording captures a vocal in an atmospheric manner & up-close. Audrey Bussanich presents songs that are sophisticated & mature while sustaining a textured quality. “Green,” is a beautifully intense ballad with marvelous lyrical passages.
The songs are piano driven & add just enough retro easy listening to the mix while Ms. Bussanich adds her youthful shine through each splendid melody. Audrey is consistent — no lulls in her performance. With a background & love for classical music, Audrey leaves behind crumbs on her musical stylization path for us to follow. A dynamic moves through her occasional melancholy songs (“Walking Away”). It’s a song that never gets stuffy, it breathes.
Audrey does shake off the commercial urge because she’s obviously preoccupied with quality over quantity. Produced by Rodney Alejandro Go For a Drive Live Sessions (Dropped Feb 20–Independent) touches upon Joni Mitchell’s richness lyrically as Audrey does on her title tune. It’s a simple song but dazzling in how she constructs it & then lays it out. Her melodies subliminally will stay in your memory long after they’ve played.
Every song is well-arranged & there’s superb guitar work on “Go For a Drive,” with her lilting vocals which veer closely to the beautiful classical vocals of Susan Osborne (“Lay Down Your Burden”) from the Paul Winter Consort LP “Common Ground.”
This is where Audrey is – there’s a precision to her live performance & she manages to add balance with her range, intonation & resplendent phrasing. The musicians perform uniformly tight with decorative flourishes. Many songs are pensive & distinctive. There are times she see-saws from the clarity of Osborne to the more adult contemporary & refined Laura Nyro. Some day Ms. Bussanich will be a fine jazz singer because she gets the nuances, is distinctive & her musical seams never show.
Her songs are also approachable – other artists will find a wealth of music in these Audrey Bussanich compositions. That aspect alone spread the name Laura Nyro & the same can happen again. I hear a voice like Judy Collins embracing these songs, but I also hear a more Americana-tinted Bonnie Raitt add her instincts to Audrey’s well-turned storytelling.
Audrey has a superb voice. Knows how to use it both as a showcase & in the types of songs she writes. She is not a pop singer – she has a class that follows the independently strong-natured quality of Judee Sill, Eva Cassidy & the breathy airy sounds of Alison Krauss. I find her music compelling & always enjoyable.
Musicians – Jason Ji (guitar), Liad Saloman (percussion), Lorenzo Bellini (piano) & Zack Lamb (bass).
Each song is a “child of Audrey’s” & each has its own personality. Color image courtesy of Koo Chung. CD @ Apple + https://www.audreybussanich.com/