Sunday, August 29, 2010

Find and Share: Visual Language (Rhetoric Examples)

So here were 2 examples of design with rhetoric tropes present in them that I found interesting.

I enjoyed this one's use of pun. They relate the toothbrush's bristles to a tall field, and the dinosaur's neck is another pun of the toothbrush's long reach and arched shape.

(image found at:

The second example uses synecdoche and pun. The trash can itself acts as a visual pun for the eye's pupil. That one eye however, relies on synecdoche, since it represents the eyes of every possible smoker.,9522&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=396&ei=fSl7TIvzIIT7nAfnk-2cCw&oei=kSh7TL2hJ5aQnwfSwZHSCA&esq=2&page=15&ndsp=31&ved=1t:429,r:22,s:370&tx=62&ty=67&biw=1440&bih=779

(image found at:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sachal Vasandani Research and findings.

So the below is my gathered research on Sachal Vasandani, my jazz vocalist I'm to do a poster for at the Folly theater. I apologize ahead of time for the long post, perhaps next time I'll just make it a pdf.

Questions to ask the Folly:
1. How important is it to include the other band members?
The band
Jeb Patton- piano
David Wong- bass
Quincy Davis- drums
Justin Brown- drums
Dayna Stephens- tenor & baritone
Vincent Gardner- trombone

Barns and Noble biography
Sachal Vasandani was born in Chicago, and listened to his parents' modern jazz records, pop music by the Beatles and Michael Jackson, and the East Indian music of his heritage. In college at the University of Michigan he studied economics, and was instructed in the U-M's jazz and classical music programs. Arriving in New York City as a Wall Street investment banker, Vasandani soon discovered the lure of music was too strong. He found himself talented enough to make a go as a jazz vocalist and worked local jazz clubs. Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra gave him a chance to front a big band. After two independent recordings, his major-label debut for the Mack Avenue label, Eyes Wide Open, was issued in 2007. It reflects his past and identifies him somewhat as a pop-jazz crooner who incorporates elements of rock, R&B, classical, and Brazilian musics. Possessing a pleasant, flexible, and understated voice influenced by the subtleties of Shirley Horn, he will occasionally employ scat phrasing and vocalese. He was a winner in the 1999 Downbeat magazine Student Jazz Awards in the Collegiate Vocal category, and earned a semifinalist berth in the 2005 Thelonious Monk Institute Competition. As a sideman, he has worked with Pyeng Threadgill and Sean Jones. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

 Reviews and Comments

"What makes a jazz singer has more to do with a set of tools and instincts, and by that measure Sachal Vasandani qualifies as one of the stronger new arrivals in the field....The best news about “We Move” is that Mr. Vasandani seems comfortable with precedent as well as freedom. But it’s also clear that he’s a jazz singer with good ideas, including some about what a jazz singer can be."-

-The New York Times

"With his 2007 debut Eyes Wide Open, Sachal Vasandani did his part to reshape the role of the male jazz vocalist for a new era. He’s far from a contrived neo-Sinatra but a cool customer nonetheless, with strong standard-repertoire chops as well as an ear for unerring pop melody"

-Philadelphia Weekly

Without making an attempt, always doomed, to define jazz singing, suffice it to say that Vasandani does it and does it well. Jazz is in his phrasing, intonation and dynamics, whether on a chestnut like “Don't Worry About Me" or his own songs “Every Ocean, Every Star" and the title tune. His voice has a reedy quality that maintains through the registers of his considerable range and his note />
-All About Jazz

"Even more telling is the example of Sachal Vasandani, a prepossessing recent arrival whose sophomore album, We Move (Mack Avenue), is among this year’s best vocal releases. On it he contributes several of his own tunes, pays homage to Hendricks and Murphy, and interacts sure-footedly with a dynamic working band. His take on the standard “Don’t Worry About Me” involves a lilting “Poinciana” groove, over which he phrases in long arcs; the whole package suggests Elling on “My Foolish Heart” a decade ago. And one of the originals, a near-bossa called “Royal Eyes,” incorporates a distinctly Elling-esque reading, complete with subtly multitracked background harmonies."
-Jazz Times

"the terrific pacing and charismatic interpretations on his sophomore CD We Move really grab the attention. The singer's self – penned contributions rank especially highly, whether it's prefixing a brief, minute-long fragment to provide a subtly diferent context for a standard, delivering the tender ruminations of 'Every Ocean, Every Star', or enveloping the vocal line with the magnificently full textural paette of the anthemic 'Hearbeat'. As evidenced by an impressive 'Monk's Dream' he's also something of a Thelonious fan, which can only be a good thing. The singer has been performing with his core quartet of Patton, Wong and Davis since 2001 and there's a palpable sense of a deep musical familiarity and understanding amongst the group which can often be lacking from vocal jazz recordings." - “
< -Jazzwise (UK)

More onEyes Wide Open:

"Vocalist Sachal Vasandani bridges the jazz and pop worlds with "Eyes Wide Open," his superb debut of distinctive originals and intelligent makeovers that teem with fresh vitality".


"It’s not often that a male singer makes a noteworthy recorded debut, so when it happens, it’s worth checking in... On first listen, ‘‘Eyes Wide Open’’ impresses with restraint; Vasandani favors control over ornamentation, and many of the songs own the refined nocturnal hush that comes from unhurried exposition and impeccable piano-trio arrangements. Vasandani’s keen intimacy with his core group... shows throughout, and the guest contributions...are just as fluid and easy".

-The Boston Globe

"Mr. Vasandani is a bright young jazz-pop singer with charisma to spare, as he demonstrates on “Eyes Wide Open” (Mack Avenue), his self-assured recent debut."

- The New York Times

"(he) has a supple voice, warm and communicative enough to court the Norah Jones crossover crowd, while remaining pliable enough not to alienate diehard jazz fans. Besides his own tunes, Vasandani shows a keen ear and open mind for material.... Vasandani shows a wealth of promise"

--The Philadelphia Daily News

"An impressive and highly original new voice on the jazz scene, Sachal Vasandani etches emotional ambivalence with a rich, deep voice that surfs the vivid nuances of jazz while flirting with pop and blues. His preference for exploring the shadowy realms of ambiguity results in gorgeously muted colors on his new album, Eyes Wide Open (Mack Avenue). His three originals grapple with doubts about faith, forgiveness, and the future, while his striking cover of the ballad "I Could Have Told You" sifts through layers of heartache..."

-Minneapolis City Pages

"Vasandani is the total package—good looks, polished stage presence, easy rapport with the audience, and just enough swagger to exude confidence well short of arrogance. But it isn’t just the wrapping—vocally Vasandani delivers, be it ballad (“You Won’t Forget Me”) or blues (“Strange Things Happening), original (”Storybook Fiction”) or classic (“Anything Goes”). And while his style is as sophisticated and erudite as a veteran jazzman, his warm baritone and respect for the lyric create immediate accessibility and intimacy—a combination that should pull in fans of Harry Connick and even Norah Jones as quickly as fans of Kurt Elling or Shirley Horn. "

-Jazz Police

“Precious few new artists.. are capable of quickening the pulse...It’s a sophisticated but not esoteric palette of tunes, and Vasandani’s treatments bind them together without any strain of conceit"-

-Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Sachal Vasandani, the unsung hero of this summer's Freihofer's Jazz Festival… a song stylist who has produced one of the best discs of the year. He's well versed in the "Great American Songbook" but unlike many emulators he's savvy enough to pepper his repertoire with a new generation of standards. On his own material, like "Please Mr. Ogilvy," he shows a biting wit that's often masked by the soothing nature of his music.”

-Glenn Falls Post-Star

"..An awesome young male singer who (has) the chops, the smarts, and the forge a genre of his own that combines jazz with elements of folk and pop"

-New York Sun

"Vasandani feels comfortable with precedent as well as freedom."
- New York Times

" of the best vocal releases of the year..."
- Jazz Times

"the terrific pacing and charismatic interpretations on his sophomore CD WE MOVE really grab the attention"
- Jazzwise (UK)

"Young singer Sachal Vasandani has a voice that is calm, deep and, for this tune, light. "
- NPR- recc for "Travelin LIght" from We Move
"strikingly original and inventive compositions..a calm, ruminative wisdom and beautifully showcase Vasandani's creamy, melancholy sound""
"A man in the middle singing his soul out"
- Huffington Post
"..above all, an excellent singer"
- Jazzman (France)
"there's no disputing the jazz credentials of the effervescent young vocalist...Sachal Vasandani
- New York Times
"classic vocal style"
- Vanity Fair
"warmly regarded young romantic crooner"
- Time Out New York
"In the spirit of his great inspirations, such as... Shirley Horn,Vasandani focuses on relaxation, elegance and understatement."
- NDR (germany)
"Vasandani really has something new to bring and creates such intimacy in his phrasing"
- Edge Publications
"Musical omnivore"
- New York Times
" eye-opener to a fresh, young talent who displays a singular, deep-brewed voice…"
- Flyfi
"Red-hot…the finest young talent on the scene. "
- Jazz at Lincoln Center
"haunted, a little fragile, rooted in focused solitude"
- NY Times
"Rising Star"
- 2009 DownBeat Critics Poll
"…jazz singing is alive and doing great because of this talented young man."
- Sheila Jordan

We Move

"My music always starts off with jazz, but can end up in any number of places because of all my different influences. I guess I value the freedom to explore as much as the discipline of tradition." –Sachal Vasandani
That's Sachal Vasandani reflecting on the adventure he's embraced on his captivating sophomore CD, We Move, on Mack Avenue Records. Produced with a team of top-flight studio sages (John ClaytonDoug Wamble and Al Pryor), We Move finds the young jazz vocalist (who also serves as a producer) maturing as songwriter, tune stylist and bandleader in the wake of his breakout 2007 debut, Eyes Wide Open (Mack Avenue Records). That exceptional CD made for one of the most startling revelations of the year – a fresh, young vocal talent who displayed a singular, deep-brewed voice and possessed an uncanny sensibility to straddle the fine line between jazz and pop with songs that teemed with emotion and intellect.
In regards to We Move, Vasandani says, "I wanted to continue telling my own story, to write about my own, visceral experiences without force feeding. I tried to share the surface of an emotion but hint at the iceberg below, and then let the listener find their own depth."
After two years of touring and with a renewed confidence in composing and arranging, Vasandani decided it was time to begin We Move. "On the road, I would gather my ideas any way I could, and then lock myself away and mold the music to fit my emotions," says the vocalist who was a semi-finalist in the 2004 Thelonious Monk Institute Competition. "I ended up writing 30 to 40 songs in all kinds of styles and about all kinds of topics."
Ultimately, his work narrowed to the songs here: original lyrics and music, band arrangements, and older tunes augmented by new sections. As for his team of producers (Clayton and Wamble both contributed to his debut outing), Vasandani says, "Doug and I would work around tracks we had laid down, experimenting with sounds, voices, guitars that would best serve the atmosphere we were after. We did that for a month before going into the studio again. And I remain in awe of John's ability to hear what I am after and lead me to the answer. Plus, he looked after my voice with such care."

Signed to Mack Avenue Records in 2006, Vasandani was born in Chicago and grew up in a household where all kinds of music were appreciated. His parents listened to a variety of jazz, from Duke Ellington to Keith Jarrett, which piqued his curiosity. In pursuing his love for music at the University of Michigan, he began to be recognized as a talent of the future, most notably by DownBeat magazine, which awarded him Collegiate Jazz Vocalist of the year in 1999.

After moving to New York, Vasandani quickly became a part of the jazz scene, and made a musical home in storied clubs like the Zinc Bar. He was also tapped for a number of guest performances and recordings, notably by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Wycliffe Gordon, Eric Reed, T.S. Monk, and countless other peer and mentor musicians.

After Vasandani's break-through debut recording, he toured extensively supporting Eyes Wide Open. He opened for such disparate artists from jazz trumpeter Chris Botti to pop singer Joan Osborne, garnering respect from a diverse spectrum of audiences. "I played in the US as well as overseas," he says. "I played at jazz festivals as well eclectic venues, and it was humbling to see people with different backgrounds and tastes respond to what I do."

In addition, Vasandani was mentored by the veterans of the jazz vocal realm. He shared the stage with Jon Hendricks at a masters and mentors concert in Idaho ("Jon's honest spirit, intellect and improvising ability are such an influence"), and toured Japan with Sheila Jordan. "Sheila serves as a mother figure to a lot of us singers," he says. "Like Jon, Sheila sings powerfully and with so much love. To keep your voice, spirit, energy alive, night after night, for decades – what an instruction in longevity."

Yet, while Vasandani was riding high on the success of Eyes Wide Open, "I was hitting a low point emotionally. My relationships broke, I couldn't really face my own problems and I lost both of my role models – my grandparents. I went to India to see them when they were hospitalized, together. Although it was a thrill to be making music, I was felt like my life was falling apart. My music and the rest of my life were moving in opposite directions, further and further apart. That's when I started writing songs for We Move, in order to come to terms with myself, to select the right songs to understand myself better."

On We Move, Vasandani has ample support from his trio comprising pianist Jeb Patton, bassist David Wong and drummer Quincy Davis. A rarity in jazz these days, Vasandani and Co. have a longevity factor working in their favor: The band has been a group since 2001. "Those guys are like family in the best way," says the leader. "We've known each other and worked together for so long that they're forthcoming in feedback and are extremely confident. Yes, we like to experiment, but the four of us are also deeply indebted to the tradition; there's a respect for music that balances our wilder sides."

Vasandani notes that in addition to their instrumental support, two band members also contributed songs, including Patton's "Horizons" that is paired with the romping, upswing "Once in a While" (by Michael Edwards and Bud Green), and Davis composed the music on "Ring Road (Back to You)," which the leader wrote the lyrics to. Of the former, Vasandani says, "There are so many reasons to sing that song. The coy lyric fits my m.o. lyrically. And by pairing that tune with Jeb's intensely swinging original, we can shift the focus a bit to the band while I can still float out on top."

As for the latter, Vasandani says that it is the CD's oldest number in the band's library. "This is a song the band can relate to," he says. "Over the years the song took on different shapes as we continued to make new arrangements. But Quincy's melody was always so easy to sing, from the beginning."

In addition to producing, Wamble plays a significant role as a guest musician on We Move, adding various guitar styles, background effects, layering and texturing on several tunes. Other guests include drummer Justin Brown, trombonist Vincent Gardner and tenor/baritone saxophonist Dayna Stephens.

Vasandani's originals are among the standout tracks on We Move. The gem of the bunch, "Every Ocean, Every Star," features Wamble's layered guitar textures. "This is a song about expectations," says Vasandani. "It's a beautiful thing to try to give without expectations, but can we really? I wrote this song for the people I'm closest to."

The title track, written with Vasandani's friend Erik Privert, has a movement that's both mysterious and sweet. Vasandani's lyrics on this record, beginning with "We Move," reflect his struggle "to accept myself without guilt." Another jewel is the lilting "Royal Eyes," again infused with Wamble's guitar colors and embellished by Vasandani's overdubbed background vocals. "The song is a reminder for me to love what I have. Even though this song has a folksier feel, I wanted the colors of the other voices to be messy, human."

In addition to his originals, Vasandani puts his spin on songs from the jazz songbook and canon, including the bright CD opener, Rogers & Hart's "There's a Small Hotel" with a Vasandani intro ("Escape") that gives the standard a fresh feel. Also on the CD are a hip, funky take of "No More," the Hubert Laws/Jon Hendricks 70s song; the Bloom/Kohler tune "Don't Worry About Me" that's played as a ballad but with a rhythm reminiscent of the Ahmad Jamal staple, “Poinciana;” the sexy, low-lights romance through "There Are Such Things" (by Stanley Adams, Abel Baer, George W. Meyer); a cooking romp through "The River of St. Marie" put on the map by Joe Williams; and Thelonious Monk's "Monk's Dream" (with lyrics by Hendricks) that Vasandani says pays tribute to the piano giant's "unfettered, creative spirit. I love most all of Monk's music. Of course, he's known for unusual harmonies, but his melodies are so catchy."

Another We Move highpoint of Vasandani's creativity comes in his popish "Heartbeat," which he says was "one of the most fun songs to realize" on the album. With a full color palette ranging from horns to guitars, the romantic, deceptively innocent lyric gets a sonic "cushion that really moves it along." That's followed by the end song, the Jimmy Mundy-Trummy Young-Johnny Mercer beauty, "Travelin' Light." It serves as the perfect cap to the proceedings. "It's like a little coda," says Vasandani. "We've been building through the record, and finally we come to  'Heartbeat,' which is huge the whole way through. At the very end, I figured, let's just be a little quiet."

Mood Board
Colors and Textures: Blues, Greens, reds and passionate colors, Greys, unsaturated colors, sepia tones, Indian Patterns, Sandstone, Slate
Mood: Calm, comforting, hopeful, surreal
Photography and Imagery:
Style: Modern, Jazz and Indie
Rhythm: Undulating, and surprising. Experimental

Monday, August 23, 2010

Junior year huh?

So today marks the first day of my Junior year. I'm ready to knuckle down and get some stuff done for the portfolio this year. Hopefully there's some work with websites ahead, since I need a lot of work in that category. Hoping for a good year!