Malaysian-Australian dancehall wunderkind Che'Nelle's debut album, Things Happen for a Reason, made a splash on the international charts upon its release.
Powered in part by industry heavyweights in the songwriting and production department, and in part by big-time guest stars on rap vocals (especially in the hit "I Fell in Love with a DJ"), Che'Nelle's charisma and powerful vocals are the real stars of the show, and combine just enough South Asian exoticism à la M.
Trombonist Jonathan Voltzok makes a fine debut recording with More to Come. A native of Israel who came to the U.
S. on scholarship to study at the New School in New York City, he went on to work with the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Band as well as bands led by Slide Hampton and Jimmy Heath. His rhythm section includes the talented but underrated pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Barak Mori, and drummer Ali Jackson. Like some of the bop masters of trombone, Voltzok excels in up tempo settings, such as his breezy original "More to Come" that serves as an excellent opener. He tackles Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight" in a slow, thoughtful setting, never overplaying his hand, with Goldberg's lush, inventive chords providing a perfect backdrop. Hampton is a special guest in a powerful, swinging chart of "Con Alma" and a snappy blistering take of "Shaw Nuff," while alto saxophonist Antonio Hart appears in Voltzok's driving samba "A Moment of Sunshine" and the trombonist's elegant jazz waltz "The Fire Dance." This is an enjoyable first effort by Jonathan Voltzok.