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A serious enchantress

Universal Language
Universal Language
By Kevyn Lettau

JVC: 1995

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This review first appeared in the May 19, 1995 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

Longtime San Diego musical landmark Kevyn Lettau has returned with a third release on JVC Records, and it continues her light, bouncy approach to jazz singing – a sound based in large measure on Brazilian influences, particularly bossa nova. It's also a sound leavened by Lettau's serious approach to her music, her commitment to integrity and her knowing ability to improvise.

This effort comes across as more personal than did her previous albums. Lettau's lyrics grow more poetic, more insightful, as with this observation on friendship from "Love is Unconditional":

There is strength in letting do
and power in forgiving those
who love and grow inside your soul

Lettau is a unique voice in jazz – immediately accessible, yet with enough artistry to satisfy the most serious student of jazz singing. Her combination of pop-oriented melodicism and charm with a commitment to the art of jazz is masterful, lending Lettau's music a sense of enchantment.