Sue Maskaleris – Unbreakable Heart
(Jazilian – 2001)
by Carmen Miller
Unbreakable Heartis well written, very well performed, varied and interesting; like a good Broadway show. You won’t believe it’s a debut release! Sue wrote, arranged and produced most of the songs, as well as performing on keyboards and vocals. The style is smooth…not like smooth-jazz, rather it has the smoothness you get from a good Basia or Jarreau tune.
Pajamasamba, a Corea-esque joyride, immediately showcases Sue’s adeptness with the piano… and her ability to scat. On the second tune Scat! Sue is joined here by vocalist extraordinaire Mark Murphy for this swinging romp. The title tune Unbreakable Heart kicks it up a notch (to quote my favorite TV chef) highlighting her beautiful voice. On the Bluesy Child of Three, co-produced by Michal Urbaniak, Sue pulls out her harmonica and gets down and gritty with it.
Mischief Night is a steamy tune where Sue gets back to the vocal storytelling (hello Ella). Her enunciation and emotional style shine in the interplay with Darmon Meader’s sax riffs. The Love Within slows things up a bit, while keeping the mood light and uptempo. IT is a good cover, and shows her abilities, but doesn’t have quite the punch of the Maskaleris-written tracks. I Can’t Cry Over You Any More, featuring Michal Urbaniak on violin, brings back the dynamic flow.
Delgado/Sonhos Reciclados is a smooth Latin-influenced piece, and is the only tune NOT written by Sue that keeps the feel of the CD intact. No But I wish is straight out of Rio De Janeiro. Never to Learn/Nunca Aprender slows things down at the end, a sweet finish to a joyous ride. Unbreakable Heart was a pleasant surprise… a keeper.
For more information on Sue Maskaleris or to hear Samples from the CD Unbreakable Heart visit