Beth Duncan

Rarely is boldly authentic artistry praised and admired by critics. Beth Duncan, a Sacramento, California jazz singer, has received impressive exposure and recognition for her expressive and clear vocals. Come The Fall, her latest album, debuted at #26 in CMJ’s Jazz Top 40 charts. This is right below Diana Krall. The album’s tracks have been heard on over 110 stations across the country, as well as stations in Australia, Canada, Japan, Australia, and The Netherlands. The overwhelming positive reviews for Come The Fall are overwhelming. praised Duncan’s voice, saying that she could “blow away the countless ‘talents’ who are making billions from having no voices at all.” said Duncan was: “seemingly a secret treasure if you’re not conversant with NoCal jazz scene.” Come The Fall features a collection of originals by Martine Tabilio as well as imaginative arrangements of cherished jazz songs. When Beth and Martine first met, the album’s unique sultriness grew. Duncan says that her work inspired him to keep moving forward. “It felt old but new, it gave me a platform,” Duncan said. Tabilio provided the beautiful title track, which Duncan transformed from a rubato-ballad feel to a lush and sensual Brazilian samba. The Latin-inspired tune is sultry and joyfully unfolds with Duncan’s expressive vocals and celestial strings. Her singing is rich and smooth, despite the tricky melody. Her ability to interpret is a hallmark of Duncan’s musicality. She can perform by herself or with Steve Homan, a 30-year jazz veteran who has performed alongside legends like Joe Williams, Herb Ellis and Jimmy Smith. Her unique flair for interpretation makes her arrangements appealing to a wide audience. Her vocal rendition of John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” is one of the best on the CD. Homan devised a new arrangement for Duncan and asked him to try it. With silken ease, she navigates the complex harmonic terrain. Duncan says, “There wasn’t much room for bending notes. I had to just sing.” Jazz stations played her version back-to-back with Coltrane’s original, and were impressed. Guy Kowarsh, a producer and engineer from Studio G in Rocklin (California), recorded the album. Kowarsh encouraged Duncan to add layers and nuances to her recordings. He also encouraged her to sing harmony and to pursue a spectacularly orchestral approach with a lean guitar, bass drums, and guitar. Her lifelong passion for jazz has led her to a remarkable place in her history. My older brother was a big fan of jazz as a child. She laughs and says that her older brother painted his bedroom black and had bongos. I could hear the music wafting from his room, including Miles Davis, Stan Getz and Mel Torme. “That music from down the hall led me to the path I am meant to be on.” from

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