Artist: Michael Kaeshammer
Album: No Filter
Release Date: 09/16/2016
Canadian singer/songwriter/pianist Michael Kaeshammer’s eleventh album is a little gem of boogie-woogie, R&B, jazz and pop. Kaeshammer’s silky vocals caress his impressive keyboard chops like a lover’s breath, and it’s really only on the second time around on the songs that I tuned in to how artfully he’s crafted his lyrics.
Much of the album benefits from particularly effective horns, arranged by Juno- and Order of Canada winner Phil Dwyer. What may be a cornet on “Back Into the Pen” flirts around the vocals in something akin to a duet, but in general, the punch of brass and woodwinds used on many cuts keeps the album’s testosterone level pretty high, especially on “Sweet Grace.”
One personal favorite features Kaeshammer on piano and Denzal Sinclaire on vocals for “Late Night Train,” a languorous and effective homage to an old, elusive love. “Everybody Catches Love Sometime” benefits soulful blues guitar turns from Randy Bachman (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) on an uptempo toe-tapper.
Genre-spanning artists like Kaeshammer have more trouble getting airplay than artists who can be pigeonholed with a single word, but albums like this are not to be missed.
– Suzanne Cadgène