My first contact with Emily Bezar was with her previous album Angels Abacus, a CD that I liked quite a lot and that still finds it's way to my CD player four years later. Because of that great album, I decided to check out her back catalogue and discovered some excellent and diverse music with at least one point in common... Emily Bezar's incredible singing.
Exchange, Emily's latest project, is in continuity with Angels Abacus but also represents an pretty important evolution. Even though there were examples of this on Angels Abacus, Exchange clearly brings the listener into Jazz/Fusion ambiances, this done in a manner that Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell and perhaps Ricky Lee Jones have introduced us to. The first half of the album is clearly, in my opinion, a good example of this genre and I must add that all the musicians are excellent and have many moments to shine. After this first part of the album, the mood changes in a subtle way, introducing some Swing and Experimental music in the mix of things. The album then ends with a beautiful "piano only" ballad that almost makes me think of Barbra Streisand.
Exchange is a great follow up to Angels Abacus. Emily Bezar's singing is as beautiful and moving as ever and there is not a weak (or even average) track on the album. If you are already a fan, you will certainly not be disappointed. If you are new to her, Exchange is a great way to introduce yourself to her music. Highly recommended indeed