Maybe it’s my younger days playing in jazz bands, but I always have a soft spot for jazz artists. The vocals, sax and brass parts lift me three feet above ground. One vocalist/band reminding me at times of Peggy Lee, and other times Chicago, is Gretchen and the Pickpockets. Their new album, falling rising, fits on my iPhone nicely.
Gretchen opens with “Keep Talking.” Being a trumpet player, the Pickpockets got my attention with this quiet jazz piece. I love the way the song moves upward in steps. One track, “Love You Forever” has a 60’s feel to it with a brass forte. On another, “Easy on My Heart,” I love the improvisation. It’s obvious, this band is having fun. Gretchen’s soprano voice in “Devil’s Due,” is outstanding, but it’s “Fall into You” that’s my favorite. If she was holding back, she let it go on this piece. The band’s last track, “Time and Time Ago,” has a sensational ending with disorganized wonderment.
Gretchen and The Pickpockets have an album complete with the blues, jazz, but most important, full of superb sound. Her voice blends with the band making the Pickpockets a band of one. They remind me of many bands, but Falling rising is an album in its own by creating its own resonance. I’m J.R. Joseph Miller and this is Gretchen and The Pickpockets orchestrating Falling rising.