Shiri Zorn & George Muscatello feat. Mauricio Zottarelli, Into Another Land Review
by Constance Tucker
Once again, vocalist Shiri Zorn collaborates with her long-time partner, guitarist George Muscatello, on a new album, Into Another Land. Conceived during the pandemic lockdown, the two are joined by Brazilian percussionist Mauricio Zottarelli. The album was vocally produced by jazz vocalist Tierney Sutton and mixed and mastered by award-winning studio engineer David Darlington. The album features eight songs, including two original compositions.
“Witch Touch” is the opening cut. Zorn immediately signals her vocal prowess and nimble ability to colorize with adroit skills. Zottarelli and Muscatello colorize and build the track to a fervor. Each musician adds a layer of exoticness that lends to a breathtaking listen.
The classic “Beautiful Love” is given a Latin treatment. The lyric on this traditional standard, introduced initially by the Wayne King Orchestra in 1931, has become a staple standard for many vocalists. Zorn takes the classic and shapes it into an evocative, rhythmically expressive approach. With elongated notes and twists and turns. The scat section further exemplifies her strong affinity for exploration. Muscatello spins forth a striking solo section as the three musicians expand to a beautifully stretched and delicate ending.
Ending the album with a spacious ballad, “Detour Ahead,” is chosen. Once again, Zorn extends the lyric – dripping with emotion and softness of voice, as she teases with fast and slow phrases to further entice the listener’s peak. You’ll find yourself hanging on every note, sinking deeper into her voice and every breathy nuance.
Zorn has chosen a great advocate in Tierney Sutton for this album’s vocal production. She clearly heard the qualities in Zorn’s voice as one who does not need to be defined by the traditionality of the idiom. Instead, ensuring Zorn the creative freedom to illuminate her supple yet capable voice, all exemplified in this recording.