By: Leonid Auskern
Serbian vocalist Alma Mizic has gone a long way, typical for many talented jazz performers from Europe. She was born in Belgrade, she began to learn to play the piano at six, and later realized that her element was vocal. At the age of 17, she sang with Big Band radio band and admired the art of Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and Betty Carter. In the late 90’s, Alma went to study overseas, at Berkeley, and, having received a bachelor’s degree there, settled in New York, becoming there a notable figure with all the abundance of first-class vocalists in the Big Apple. Alma’s first album was released in 2004, followed by several more CDs, and today’s That Old Feeling, released by a well-known independent label from Dartmouth, Massachusetts Whaling City Sound, was the fourth in her discography.
The album’s structure resembles some previous CDs of the singer. Seven of the nine tracks are standards, with very well-known and very often performed ones, like Cry Me A River, Honeysuckle Rose or Blue Moon, and two tracks are their own, only to this performer: Alma’s own song, Ne Zaboravi Me balladand Russian-gypsy romance Solnishko. Standards – this is a touchstone for any jazz singer: I do not speak at all about the professionalism of the performance, the main thing is whether the given singer or singer is able to contribute something individual to the well-known topics. In my opinion, Alma Mizic does it. Her main trump card is magnificent intonation, the ability to “live” a song with her character and an impeccable sense of style. And her version of Honeysuckle Rose may well stand in line with the best samples of this evergreen from the greatest stars. Well, and in his “own”, Slavic-Gypsy field Mizic is not imitated at all. Her clean, silvery color voice conveys the lyrics very emotionally, penetrating into the very depths of the hearts of listeners.
A considerable part of the success of this album can be recorded by the accompanying Alme Ensemble, in which I would especially single out her husband, guitarist Rale Mizic and very good bass player Corcoran Holt. If the expression “King is playing suite” is true, then Her Majesty can sincerely thank her partners – they were good. I think that those who hear That Old Feeling will be able to appreciate the skill of the singer, and the class of her colleagues
To see the original review in Russian, click here
To buy That Old Feeling, click here