Born in Belgium, Susan Clynes is a multi-talented pianist, vocalist and composer. Compiled from three live concerts her international debut album "Life Is" is naturally piano and vocal heavy but also features cello, acoustic bass and drums.
Each live concert featured a different band lineup. Two of the three performances took place at The Archiduc bar in Brussels. The first performance (tracks 2 & 6) was done as a trio with Pierre Mottet on double bass and Nico Chkifi on drums. The second performance (tracks 1, 5, 9 & 10) was an intimate solo setting at the Cultural Center of Bree. The third and final performance (tracks 3, 4, 7, 8 & 11 also at The Archiduc bar)
was a duet with Simon Lenski on cello.
Although this album doesn't necessarily fall into the progrock genre it is progressive in a chamber music manner. Through her lyrics, Clynes expresses her passion for life, relationships and everything in between.
Her vocal range is impressive and I am sometimes reminded of Annette Peacock or maybe even Alanis Morissette. Her piano style recalls Tori Amos at times.
Having never been a big fan of jazz with vocals, I prefer the moments when there aren't any. The piano and cello interplay on tracks like "Childhood Dreams" and "Les Larmes" for instance is very nice.
If you are interested in jazz with female vocals and heavy emphasis on piano then this might be for you.
Reviewed by John Longo on July 8th, 2014