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It’s All About Love Reviews

Jazziz magazine

“Bell has a grand time here, and throughout the album’s 12 tunes, she extols the virtue of love and its sorrowful side as well, easily carrying the day with her zesty voice.”

Space Junkies Magazine Winter Issue

Singer & Musician Magazine CD Review

Lisa Bell is a vocalist of a caliber that is rarely found in today’s music. Hands down, she has one of the most polished, effective voices I’ve heard in a long time. An accomplished vocalist and songwriter, Bell reminds the listener of Ella Fitzgerald, with a newer, jazzier sound.

As the name would suggest, Lisa Bell sings about love on this CD, and Bell pulls this off with flair. Each song deals with love, not always in an idyllic setting but in a very diverse manner. I truly enjoyed Bell’s flawless voice which is very strong and evokes emotion in every phrase. -AH

Karl Stober of JazzReview.com

Inspiration, a incident on which ideas are chiseled. Diversity enters when maturity mixes with confidence, however, innovation only evolves when all the other variables of the talented source are allowed to nurture into a spirit. Creativity is not bought, sold, or birthed with the vocalizing of a note. It just comes from within, requiring no explanation for its existence. Such is the growth of vocalist Lisa Bell and her journey thus far.

Ms. Bell is a jazz artist who never turns away from a question or curiosity unanswered, as her learning process in music is always fresh and ongoing. This is why she is what she is: part of the new wave of vocalists who are hungry for much more than a microphone adorned with accolades. May this wave never reach low tide!

Lisa Bell’s second offering to the jazz public, It’s All About Love, is both an experiment and solution on true romantic emotion. A travel log, if you will, through the heart which encases all the ups and downs of the human desire and the roads taken. This is the way Ms. Bell saw it, felt it and wrote it, with her own experience as the template. As you will read, she examines the reasons why she scripted these feelings and what went through her mind as she relived them while performing.

As for the her innovative style, we are treated to her process and thoughts as she decided to breakaway from the social norm of the music industry and become a revolutionary, determined to leave her own legacy behind. Having the daring of Eva Cassidy to cross genres to the usage of a real string quartet, she recalls the instruments and the risk of including the dobro and pedal steel to the mix. Ms. Bell, as you will find many times, designs outside the textbook.

As she broke away for a few well deserved restful moments, I caught Lisa Bell open, honest, and to the point, as I explored this new style of vocalist/songwriter. What makes her strive to be different yet embraced by the jazz community? How does she feel about the new vocal trends and how she fits in? What makes her writing work? All is examined and re-examined as I go between sets with Lisa Bell.

Read the entire review.

Shaun Dale of Cosmik Debris

It’s took Lisa Bell three years to assemble the follow up to her first album, Dare To Be. It’s been time well spent. Bell established her jazz credentials last time out the hard way by delivering fresh interpretations of a challenging set of jazz standards. She decided to follow up by doing the even harder – making a set of songs we’ve never heard before, eight from her own pen, seem as familiar as she made those familiar tunes sound fresh.

Once again, success…

Read the entire review.

Music Watch #10

Jazz has recently become a popular musical form again lately, or rather a new lighter form that mixes pop and jazz into an easy listening sound – think Norah Jones and Jamie Cullem to hear what I mean. And so this new album by Lisa Bell follows this new template for jazz lite, and very fine it is too. Where Norah Jones has a husky drawl of a voice, Lisa Bell’s voice is pure jazz and melody and it’s a more traditional jazz ‘voice’. It swings and can cover every mood that her [mostly self-written] songs demand – there’s even a blues or two that have that ‘down home feel’. Her voice is ably backed by a hand picked collection of musicians and backing singers who fit that voice like a glove. If it comes down to nominating showcase tracks then I select It’s All About Love, Ain’t Divorce Grand, Mary Had A Plan [a witty reworking of Old McDonald Had A Farm] and Here I Am as candidates for my iPod [if I had one!].

One tends to accept recording quality as a given in these days of hi-tech digital sound – but I’d like to pay tribute to the audio engineer on this album who has made this possibly the best vocal album I’ve heard in a long time – the sound is crystal clear and extremely warm, not often the case with CDs. Call it jazz lite or easy listening or whatever, It’s All About Love is easy on the ear and demands a wider release on a major label. This is a voice that deserves to be heard.

Read the entire review.

Southwest Flair – The Online Magazine for Southwestern Living

There’s something about listening to a jazzy cd on a cool autumn high desert night. An open patio door with the scent of sage drifting in on September or October’s breeze, with a cozy fire in the chimenea. Lisa Bell’s, It’s All About Love, conjures this scenario and fits right in with our southwestern lifestyle because we like to relax, enjoy life, and listen to the soothing sounds of enchanting music.

The title cut, though Lisa Bell’s second album settles in comfortably with a texture that adheres to the tradition of popular music and country & western performance. Ballads and smooth sashays highlight her fragile delivery with comfortable ease.

The vocalist explores smooth jazz on “Don’t Wait Forever,” where floating lyrics and mellow scat singing combine with flute frills and congas to paint a peaceful landscape mural. “You’ll Find Me” sizzles with a light samba attitude, while backup singers, piano, congas, and flute supply convivial refreshments.

“She’s Not Right for You” harbors the program’s greatest potential with its growling trumpet, strolling upright bass, and slap-dash rhythmic spirit…” jazzy in its genre, hints to us of Bell’s western influence that a life in the Colorado Rockies brings. A new and appealing combination. When I wish, takes us off on a starry night of our own while Don’t Wait Forever, a jazzy Latin-sounding combo, reminds us to live life to its fullest. Some nice sax and guitars highlighting a voice that’s sure to carry you sweetly away into the night.

Jim Santella of All About Jazz

Lisa Bell’s second album settles in comfortably with a texture that adheres to the tradition of popular music and country & western performance. Ballads and smooth sashays highlight her fragile delivery with comfortable ease.

The vocalist explores smooth jazz on “Don’t Wait Forever,” where floating lyrics and mellow scat singing combine with flute frills and congas to paint a peaceful landscape mural. “You’ll Find Me” sizzles with a light samba attitude, while backup singers, piano, congas, and flute supply convivial refreshments.

“She’s Not Right for You” harbors the program’s greatest potential with its growling trumpet, strolling upright bass, and slap-dash rhythmic spirit…”

Read the entire review.

Cool Stuph! Improvijazzation Nation

I wouldn’t call this wonderful CD “strictly jazz”… there are elements of everything th’ world ’round us is about… but it’s clear that Ms. Bell is fully capable in the vocal jazz arena. Her voice is classic… full-bodied & laden with emotion. The title track is (actually) my favorite, & in addition to the great lead vocals, it’s been arranged to make the background vocals stand out, too. I’m really, really impressed with this lady’s crystal-clear talent. Cut 3, “Don’t Wait Forever” takes on a real Latino feel, & is running a close second for my favorite pick… Lisa switches styles easily, & her voice is right on the rhythms… your feet will be beggin’ you to get up & dance th’ night away. “Ain’t Divorce Grand” will make you feel th’ hurt, & if you ain’t had “the blues” before, you’ll know how they feel at the end of this one. This album is our first listen to Lisa’s work… she’s a total pro, the recording is excellent & my ears give this a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for any listener who wants to hear talent that shines ever so brightly!

Scott Yanow of All Music.com

Lisa Bell, who has a warm and attractive voice, performs music that is jazzy but crosses into other musical genres at times, a bit like Norah Jones, whom she recalls on the title cut of It’s All About Love. A superior singer/songwriter, Bell wrote or co-wrote eight of the 12 selections on It’s All About Love, all of which have to do with love of some sort. Based in Colorado, Bell mostly uses top local players including pianist John Armstrong, who co-wrote much of the material. Whether called jazzy pop or pop-oriented jazz, this set shows that Bell is a fine writer and a singer well worth hearing. Some of the tunes, including the title cut, “Ain’t Divorce Grand,” and “When You Look for Love,” deserve to be covered by other singers.

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Smother.net

Lisa Bell’s brand of music is a hybrid of jazz, roots rock, and pop. Unlike many of her jazz singer contemporaries, Lisa writes much of her own music. Her voice is powerful and floats higher in the vocal range department. The musicianship on the album is strong and speaks volumes for her professionalism. Her lyrics are quite intimate with “Ain’t Divorce Grand” culminating from experiences in a divorce recovery class and “Along the Beaches” about her marrying her true love on a beach in Kauai. Excellent!

– J-Sin

Jerry Rabuska – Ragged Blade

To me the impact is as much visual as sonic. The music plays almost like a movie; you see her up on stage singing, wearing provactive (but floor length) clothing while men in tuxes play and smoke in the background. It’s sultry, intimate, playful… not a corwd of 500, but more a crowd of 50, up close.

You see a couple having a romantic evening with Lisa singing in the background, you see the lyric storylines come to life; no need for a video when it’s all painted through the music. Jazz singer Bell writes a lot of her own material, inspried, she says, by singers such as Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy, Aretha Franklin, and Diana Krall.

It’s About Love is literally all about it – the good, the bad, the divorce (she actually uses THAT word!), the marriage no one has the guts to get out of; the picture isn’t always rosy, though in the mood I’m in right now, the fantasy of it all is what I’m enjoying the most; the more sex she puts in her voice the better the song. Still, when the sex is gone, she’s there to comment, carry on, and just say “This shit is messed up!”

While Bell has crooned her share of jazz standards, here she wisely opts for original material. She’s gone for some unusual arrangements, for instance include a dobro or pedal steel guitar, and she’s not afraid of making a pop crossover.

I thought some of her more admirable vocal qualities got lost on tracks such as “Along the Beaches” and “You’ll Find Me.” And frankly, this isn’t “my kind of music” so I don’t listen to enough of it to say where she rates among others in the field.

Lisa brings a wide range of experiece: singing backup to Bobby McFerrin, writing and singing commercial jingles, musical theater preformances, even singing on an Amtrak for a radio promotion. This CD should give her a more clout in a new generation of female jazz artists.

Rev. Dr. Sandra Gaskin at Spirit Works Reviews

I knew I was going to enjoy this CD when I read in Ms Bell’s bio that she was inspired by the likes of Norah Jones and Eva Cassidy, among others. Those are my favorite 2 female artists outside of Sarah MacLaughlin. Lisa gives a throaty, full-bodied rendition to her work, most of which has been either written or co-written by her.

My personal favorites were the title track, ‘It’s All About Love’, which really had the Norah Jones sound to it. ‘Along the Beaches’ had a lovely romantic sound, as well as “Burning Desire’. But you decide for yourself..

Lisa Bell has had a musical background from the age of 6, singing jazz tunes after attending 2 concerts; Ella Fitzgerald & Dionne Warwick. Worthy mentors..

She has sang back-up with Bobby McFerrin, performed in jazz clubs across the country, and in musical theaters.

Ed Skibbe – Rocky Mountain Music Zone

And so this CD from Boulder’s favorite jazz chanteuse is indeed “all about love”–featuring twelve songs exploring the many facets of this most evocative of human emotions. Finding, hoping to find, losing, glad to have lost, questioning, pondering, being jealous. … if it is a stage or condition of love, it has a home in one of the songs on this CD. The title track announces unambiguously what “it’s all about” as Daniel Jones’ sultry, silky pedal steel guitar plays inamorato to Lisa’s clear, beautiful soprano inamorata. Pedal steel is an unexpected choice for a predominantly jazz record, but its fluid tones and harmonics complement Lisa’s voice and the song’s melody so well that I find myself wishing they had used it more throughout the record. That track makes my ears happy!

With a wonderful instrumental ensemble featuring some of the region’s finest jazz players as well as special guests, “It’s All About Love” works best when it sticks closest to the jazz form. It occasionally crosses over into Pop, territory that Lisa will undoubtedly continue to explore. Just as the singer in “Along The Beaches” contemplates embarking on love’s journey, so too does this CD represent the beginning of Lisa’s journey as a songwriter. Go to one of her live shows and chat with her about this adventure. She has some great insights into writing and collaborating. Her voice and grasp of jazz’s melodic idiom bode well for Lisa as she hones her craft and develops more skill and confidence as a writer. When you’re in the mood for a soft, seductive respite from a world that too often seems devoid of love, you know where to go–“It’s All About Love.”