Jonathan Karrant Joshua White, Shadows Fall Review
By Sylvannia Garutch
Jonathan Karrant is a jazz vocalist born to sing. He studied performance in New York City at the William Esper Performing Arts Academy and vocal technique with Seth Riggs in Los Angeles and studied privately under the direction of Marilyn Maye and Kurt Elling. His album, On and On, rose to #4 on the jazz charts and was produced by Tyler Monks, with pianist Josh Nelson, bassist Rob Thorsen, guitarist Mark Shapiro, and drummer Duncan Moore. Karrant has received several honors, including the New York City Jazz Cabaret Honors, “Best Singer” for the Bravo California Awards, and was named one of the top 12 rising jazz vocalists by Downbeat. Karrant’s second album, Live, was recorded in Las Vegas at one of the top 10 performing art centers globally: The Smith Center. The record was released on October 16th, 2018, and reached # 2 on the iTunes Jazz Charts. In addition, Karrant has worked and collaborated with Grammy award winner and singer Diane Schuur, Grammy-nominated singer Jane Monheit, Jazz at Lincoln Center trumpeter Kenney Rampton and Thelonius Monk award-winning pianist Joshua White. Shadows Fall, a collaboration between Karrant and pianist Joshua White and is a collection of classic standards more contemporary songs not typically heard in the jazz genre.
“Simply the Best” begins with White playing a magnificent figure on the piano that serves as the backdrop for Karrant’s vocals. Karrant’s vocal style is firmly based on the cabaret jazz tradition, and his warm tone is expressive and emotive. As Karrant climbs in his vocal register, his tone maintains a warm and inviting sonority, and his diction is clear and distinct.
Representing Karrant’s approach to standards is a refined version of “My One and Only Love.” White’s introduction sparkles with beautiful jazz colorations and voicings. Karrant approaches the melody with confidence as he makes the phrases his own. Of course, Johnny Hartman has set the bar high for this melody, and Karrant does an excellent job of making this theme fit his style and flow with cabaret hues. White’s solo builds around the melody as Karrant sings soft guide tone lines in the background.
Karrant effervesces between pop-jazz and cabaret with just the right amount of jazz prowess to satisfy a jazz aficionado while also connecting a Sinatra style broad appeal to the masses. Shadows Fall offers a classic approach that suits the mood for any vocal jazz devotee.