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Ashleigh Smith - Sunkissed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   
Ashleigh Smith - SunkissedJazz Vocalist Ashleigh Smith's debut album, Ashleigh Smith - Sunkissed, released on the Concord Music Group label is one that Jazz aficionados will want to add to their collections. Winner of the 2014 Sarah Vaughan International Vocal Competition, Ashleigh Smith makes her mark as a singer and songwriter on this 10-track stunning release.

Ashleigh Smith - Sunkissed

Ashleigh Smith - Sunkissed    

Ashleigh Smith - Sunkissed: Best Friends, Sara Smile, The World Is Calling, Love Is You, Blackbird, Sunkissed, Into The Blue, Brokenhearted Girl, Beautiful And True, Pure Imagination

Ashleigh Smith - Sunkissed Personnel: Ashleigh Smith - vocals, Shelton Summons - piano, Fender Rhodes, Sergio Pamies - piano on Beautiful And True, Joel Cross - guitars, Mark Lettieri - electric guitar on Sara Smile, Love Is You, Justin Schenk - electric guitar on The World Is Calling, Beautiful And True, Nigel Rivers - electric bass, Cedric Moore - drums on Best Friends, Blackbird, Marcus Jones - drums on Sara Smile, Love Is You, Matt Young - drums on Beautiful And True, Cleon Edwards - drums, Greg Beck - percussion on Best Friends, AJ Flores - percussion on Sara Smile, The World Is Calling,  Love Is You, Sunkissed, Into The Blue, Kevin Wyatt - harmonica on Best Friends

Ashleigh Smith - Sunkissed was produced by Chris Dunn and Nigel Rivers and released on the Concord Music Group label.

The 10-track Ashleigh Smith - Sunkissed release is straight out of the box gorgeous beginning with the opening song, Best Friends, a catchy tune with samba rhythms written by Ashleigh Smith and Joel Cross which demonstrates her talent not only as a Jazz vocalist, but also as a songwriter. Adding to the musical kaleidoscope are The Soul Committee Horns - Jarriel Carter on trumpet, Jason Davis on saxophone, and Gaika James on trombone, who layer in rich horn accompaniment. This song got my attention from my first listen and the release kept my interest until the last song, Pure Imagination, written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley.

In between, Ashleigh mixes in a few well-known covers, including Sara Smile written by Daryl Hall and John Oates, and the John Lennon and Paul McCartney classic Blackbird, yet makes them fresh with her lovely vocals and arranging by Nigel Rivers.

Ashleigh shines exceptionally bright on her original songs, including The World Is Calling, which she co-wrote with Nigel Rivers, the title track, Sunkissed, written by Ashleigh Smith, Nadia Washington, Nigel Rivers, and Keite Young, Into The Blue, a collaboration between Ashleigh Smith, her sister, Lauren M. Smith, and Joel Cross where Antone Amalbart contributes trombone, and Brokenhearted Girl, written by Ashleigh Smith, Kwinton S. Gray, and Nigel Rivers.

Vocally and instrumentally the release is stunning with an exceptional selection of musicians including string players, Veronica Gan - 1st violin, Emily Aquin - 2nd violin, Emily Williams - viola, and Craig Leffer - cello, contributing on Love Is You, and Beautiful And True where Ashleigh adds a lively Jazz scat. From start to finish, this release is a definite winner, and I look forward to hearing much more from the talented Ashleigh Smith.

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