Olivia Maisel – A Moment in Time (ENG review)

Chanson Jazz
Olivia Maisel – A Moment in Time (FR review)

Olivia Maisel is a French-American singer from Toulouse, now based in Montreal. Here is her debut album, which is as exciting and interesting to discover as albums from artists on their fourth or fifth record. It features impeccable interpretation, and when I say interpretation, I mean that an artist is able to go beyond the technical aspect of their voice and incorporate almost an actor’s work.
Olivia is also a composer and arranger, accompanied on this album by excellent musicians: Thélonius Garcia on piano, Luc Herrmann on guitar, Sergiu Popa on accordion (track 7), Noémy Braun on cello (track 6), Alex Le Blanc on upright bass, and John Buck on drums. They perfectly complement Olivia Maisel’s vocals. The prominent bass offers an interesting interplay with the voice. As someone who particularly enjoys acoustic albums for singers, I must admit that I easily got captivated by this album, which is flawlessly recorded with a beautiful balance between the vocals and instruments, enhancing the “jazz club, live” atmosphere of “A Moment in Time,” reflecting decades of personal experience. Maisel chose the songs based on the story she wanted to tell: “A story of unity, a past we hold in common, a present we could experience together, and a future of hope and change.”
Early in her creative process, Maisel developed a concept for the album with the guidance of acclaimed and Grammy-nominated singer Kate McGarry. These initial steps set her on the path to create a truly personal project. Maisel decided to tell her story by using some of her favorite songs from the Great American Songbook while showcasing her diverse musical influences. The album evolved into a refuge and an outlet for her deepest feelings about her past. It is a tribute to relationships, love, loss, and life.
“A Moment in Time” is the kind of album you’ll want to listen to on repeat, share with your friends, and possesses all the qualities of a highly successful debut album, including the perfect track order for an optimal listening experience. The cover of “Send in the Clowns,” which originally lingered in our minds by Frank Sinatra, is almost a showcase of Olivia Maisel’s artistic qualities. She managed to deconstruct it and mold it to fit her voice remarkably. And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also be treated to an equally interesting version of “Que reste-t-il de nos amours?” Undoubtedly, we will continue to talk about Olivia Maisel for a long time, and we will closely follow her career, which will undoubtedly take a new direction with this album.
For such a beautiful work, the editorial teams of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris Move have placed this album at the top of their “Indispensables” list.

Thierry De Clemensat
Correspondent in USA
Bayou Blue News – Bayou Blue Radio – Paris-Move

PARIS-MOVE, June 21st 2023