Originally published in LA Jazz Scene Magazine September 2014
NANCY HARMS - CD RELEASE AT THE CAP
"Dreams In Apartments"
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 8:00 PM. I arrived early at the CAP studios in Sherman Oaks, CA. I wanted to arrive early enough to grab a good seat for the LA release event of Nancy Harms' second CD, "Dreams In Apartments." I discovered her music a few months back. I was captivated with her version of "Moon Indigo," an arrangement full of style, emotion, and personality. I didn't want to miss the opportunity to hear her music live. Perhaps I'd be able to take a few pictures as well.
I was greeted by Arne Fogel, co-writer, producer and co-owner Harms' new CD label "Gazelle Records."
I was the first one in, but the room quickly filled to capacity. CAP Studio (Complete Actors Place) is a multi-function facility. Currently, co-owner Alex Marino hosts "Jazz At The Cap," a Tuesday night, ongoing event. CAP has a perfect stage for showcasing jazz.
Nancy Harms was accompanied by a fantastic trio. Jeremy Siskind on piano, Dave Robaire on bass, and Dan Schnelle on drums. This event was part of a series of events where Nancy joined the Jeremy Siskind trio in a string of West Coast House Concerts. This night was all about Harms' CD.
The first set started with "Weight Of The World" an original with a contagious rhythm. Other originals from the CD that were performed include "And It's Beautiful" and "Something Real." All co-written by Nancy Harms and Arne Fogel. With her voice, writing, style and personalized arrangements, Nancy Harms delivers a strong but very sensitive message.
The same can be said with her delivery of jazz standards. One of my favorites is Jay Livingston's "Never Let Me Go." Harms sang this as if it was written for her. Drummer Dan Schnelle's brush work was exquisite.
I was very pleased that she included "Mood Indigo" in the set, the tune that originally caught my ear. Pianist Jeremy Siskind supported Harms with all the sophistication of a great jazz soloist yet never overshadowed her. Additionally, bassist Dave Robair, offering mostly whole-notes, all that was necessary, provided a very melodic solo. Robair and Schnelle work wonderfully together.
Harms is quite confident and has a strong presence on stage. She announced the story behind one of the originals "Because You Let Go." A song about a friend who is overcoming personal crisis and is experiencing a sort of rebirth. And another, "And It's Beautiful" about her own experience moving from her home in Minnesota to New York City.
Two sets of fantastic original jazz at a superb jazz venue, made for a great evening.
I'm looking forward to more from Nancy Harms. Rumor has it that there's another CD in the works to be released on Gazelle early 2015.
"Dreams In Apartments"
Available on CDBaby and iTunes
Jazz At The CAP
13752 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Photos: Paul Weitz