REVIEW

The State of Bliss

Planet Jazz Magazine (2004)

by George Evans

Canadian vocalist and songwriter Karin Plato adds to her growing catalog of superior recordings with regularity, and The State Of Bliss is her latest. As on previous efforts, this is a West Coast production backed by a flexible ensemble of western Canada's best players, all whom show a worthy respect for the artist both as a singer and songwriter, playing supportively and with great empathy. Verve artist Denzal Sinclaire joins Plato here on two duets, furthering their established musical relationship and showing his respect for Plato the singer. Hers is a subtle yet powerful instrument ideally suited to jazz, and she wields it expertly as she works her way though a mixed program of standards and originals. As a testament to the excellence of Plato's songwriting, the originals here stand up very well alongside the likes of Berlin, Burke, Kern and Rodgers. But while the originals rightfully come from a more modern place compositionally, the subtlety and accessibility in Plato's writing style mesh with the more familiar chord progressions and poetry of the standards here. A product of the active Vancouver scene, Karin Plato has roots in the plains of her native Saskatchewan, and this attitude surfaces in both the poetic imagery contained in her lyric writing and the unpretentious manner in which she presents herself. Because of that lack of contrivance, Karin Plato has become one of this country's most admired vocalists, and has begun to travel more widely to reach her growing fan base. Like an intimate and chatty letter from a loved one, this album happily brings us up-to date on the progress of a fine musician, one for whom we have the highest regard.

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