MUSIC: BALANCING ACT

VANESSA DAOU'S JAZZ AND POP MAKE AN EXHILARATING MIX

WHEN POP MUSIC AND JAZZ come together, it is seldom on equal footing. More often than not, musicians opt either for the predictable, ingratiating styles of pop (Kenny G.) or for ostentatious, cerebral techniques lifted from jazz (Steely Dan). What they get is slick, one-dimensional music, a bogus hybrid that has all the kick of a wine spritzer.

Vanessa Daou's new album, Zipless, shows that it doesn't have to be that way. Built on piano, synthesizers and Daou's mesmerizing, Billie Holiday-like vocals, Zipless strikes an exquisite balance between pop and jazz by weaving together the strengths of both styles. With Daou's...

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