Pure Imagination
Review by Willard Manus

Another jazz singer to look out for is Los Angeles-based Amber Weekes. On PURE IMAGINATION she shows off her range and creativity on thirteen tracks, each one of which is different from the last. On “Brown Baby,” for example, she brings to life Oscar Brown Jr.’s black-power ballad in a slow, deeply-felt way, only to suddenly shift gears and hit high, fast notes on “After You’ve Gone,” turning it into a scat-filled romp.

Weekes has wisely chosen the musicians on this new release: top-flight cats like Peter Smith and Tony Copodonico (pianists), Keith Fiddmont (saxophone), Curtis Taylor and Scotty Barnhart (trumpeters), to name but a few. With arrangements by bassist Trevor Ware and contributions, at different times, by violinist-conductor Mark Cargill and The Bucjump Brass Band, this is a snappy, swinging CD.

Although Weekes has a small voice, it is so warm and intimate that you can’t help but respond to it. She is also a skillful story-teller and communicator, one who puts everything she has into every song, baring heart and soul.