All About Jazz, Karl Ackermann
…”the vocalist is very impressive. Her powerful and pliable voice does not necessarily conjure up familiar singers of the past or present but is a unique instrument. Her gift for subtle improvisation makes over-recorded pieces like "Autumn Leaves," "At Last," and "Summertime" sound fresh and personal. Tara's reading of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" is the strongest since that of Jeff Buckley.”
Portraits first album features singer Adalia Tara, accompanied by keyboardist David Vincent Mills, guitarist Fitzhugh Jenkins, bassist Zac Carson and drummer Mark Rownd. While this is their first recording as a unit, the individual musicians have appeared on numerous other albums.
Adalia Tara has had success with her contemporary pop album Why Wait and several music videos including “Release Me” and “Mother Of Exiles.” She is a versatile and bluesy singer who sounds as at home on “Autumn Leaves” as she does on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” David Vincent Mills previously recorded original funky jazz instrumentals on his CD Underneath, and guitarist Fitzhugh Jenkins, an LA based studio musician for many years, was featured on Passion: Music For Guitar. Mark Rownd on drums, who has released several instrumental albums of his own, and Zac Carson on acoustic bass make for a solid team behind the soloists on Portraits.
While they have all had experience in a variety of genres, Portraits plays mostly straight ahead jazz on this album. The opening “Autumn Leaves” has powerful singing by Adalia Tara, short guitar and keyboard solos that add to the momentum of the performance, and a closing vocal which sets a high standard for the performances that follow.
“The Way You Look Tonight” is swung by Adalia, the instrumentalists are supportive, and there is a brief statement by Mills. “At Last”, which is so closely associated with Etta James, features Adalia at her most soulful, making the song her own. She is showcased at her best on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” creating wordless vocalizing and scatting over the strutting rhythm section that contrast with her beautiful long tones.
On “Autumn Leaves,” Adalia Tara creates her own melodic variation of the theme, taking the first chorus mostly out-of-tempo. She then swings a chorus and, after some worthy solos, closes the piece the way it began. The tracks on Portraits include her quietly emotional vocal of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”
Portraits first album is an excellent debut, a group that one suspects is also well worth seeing live.
Adalia Tara returns to Sedona after two months on the east coast for two concerts at L'Auberge, performing classic jazz standards and original contemporary music. The group, featuring David Vincent Mills on keyboards, and Mark Rownd on drums, will perform on Friday and Saturday night, from 8 to 10 pm.
THE SCENE MAGAZINE
Although still a relatively new musical collaboration, Portraits has been performing their eclectic blend of musical genres from jazz, to contemporary, and originals for capacity crowds at venues in Sedona such as L'Auberge. For First Friday Art walk the group, featuring the powerful vocals of Adalia Tara, virtuoso keyboards of David Vincent Mills, and Mark Rownd on drums, will appear live in concert at 'Tlaquepaque North' located in Sedona at 313 SR179 from 4:30 to 7:30 pm.
RED ROCK NEWS
Adalia Tara returns to L'Auberge for another evening of jazz and contemporary music on Friday from 8 to 10 pm.
Performing a mix of classic jazz standards from the great American songbook, and original contemporary music from her new album, her trio features virtuoso David Vincent Mills on keyboards. Remarkable to watch, David displays a command of polyphonic ambidexterity, as he lays down bass line grooves on a Hammond XK-3 with his left hand, while improvising melodic jazz piano solos with his right hand. And Adalia's powerful voice surely commands the space, from deep, bluesy lows to sweet, ethereal highs. Her recent music video "Release Me" has won first place and audience choice awards at film festivals across the US.
If you’ve lived in Sedona for very long, you know this town has a way of embracing some newcomers while giving others the boot. Singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist Adalia Tara falls into the former category. She moved to Red Rock Country with her family when she was 12, eventually graduating from Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy. She moved back to her native Washington, D.C. to go to college, but the red rocks – and her family – called her back home three years ago. Before she had even made up her mind to move to Sedona permanently, she landed a regular gig at a local resort, which sealed the deal.