Sanborn worked with musician Rickey Kej on this new age vocal album. It features a blend of world-fusion elements and centers on the theme of light throughout the cosmos from personal and intimate to majestic starlight reaching the Earth from other galaxies.

Sanborn has a sultry, velvety voice, sometimes with wordless vocalizing, sometimes in English or Spanish. Her music ranges over several genres that she combines in unusual new ways. The CD begins with “Star Catcher,” a light jazzy ballad. A mandolin, piano and bells introduce “Follow the Light,” which evolves into another relaxing bit of adult contemporary jazz. “Soul Dancing” is a similar if slightly slower piece. “Someday” is a pop-style ballad with more complex and thoughtful construction adorned with haunting wood flute and sitar.  “Little Candle” is a more jazzy ballad.

Track 11 “Seeds of Hope” moves toward east-west fusion mantra-style singing with more world percussion and instruments incorporated into the mix. The final track 12 “Fantasy” is reminiscent of a Sade song, with long drawn-out vocal phrases floating over a slightly funky rhythm.

Sanborn’s voice is the real treat here. It’s smooth and easy on the ears. The songs feature unique introductory material that tend to move into contemporary jazz-ballad songs. This isn’t a bad thing. The music shifts in and out of new-age and world-fusion idioms are used to effectively create unique settings for each song. This is a nice, laid back vocal album that offers very pleasant tunes for relaxing and socializing.

~review by Elizabeth Hazel

Artist: Kathy Sanborn
Kathy Sanborn, 2015
audio CD $8.99, mp3 $9.49