Brianna's Believing In Love

Bruce Von Stiers

Down Beat magazine named her Best High School Jazz Vocalist. She was in the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program and won the Jazz Mobile competition in 2009. Her name is Brianna Thomas. And Brianna has just released her debut album, You Must Believe In Love.

The album was released on the Sound On Purpose Records label. Ulysses Owens, Jr. produced the album. It has eleven songs and a play time of a little over an hour.

Allyn Johnson is a pianist who plays with the group Divine Order. He plays piano for Briana. A two time Grammy winner, drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. plays on the album Yasushi Nakamura has played with Clarence Penn and Wynton Marsalis. He plays bass on the album for Briana.

Russell Malone has worked with Harry Connick, Jr. and Diana Krall. He plays guitar on two of the tracks on this album. Marcus Printup, besides playing in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, he has recorded with Betty Carter and Cyrus Chestnut. Marcus lends his talent on trumpet to this album. Besides being the wife of Marcus Printup. Riza Printup is an excellent harpist. She plays harp on one track on the album. Tivon Penticott is a Grammy winning sax player. He plays tenor sax on one song. Having performed with Marcus Printup among other top jazz players, Nick Grinder plays trombone on a song on the album. Downbeat Magazine proclaimed Wycliffe Gordon the Best In Trombone. He plays trombone for Brianna on two songs on the album.

Brianna tackles an oft sung standard as her first song on the album. It is Bye Bye Blackbird. She treats the song with kind of an Ella Fitzgerald styling. Besides some nice vocals, there is some great bass and piano done on the song.

Moving into something soft and gentle, the next song is Benny Goodman's great standard Don't Be That Way. It is nicely done by Brianna.

The third song is an original tune written by Brianna. Love Doesn't Die is a smooth and easy love song.

Another Brianna original is I Should Have Known. It is mild and serene but with just a touch of ach in the vocals.

The next standard that is covered on the album is Duke Ellington's Daydream. Nice vocals are backed by great piano, drum and bass.

Lover Of My Soul is yet another Brianna original composition. The song has a bit higher octaves in parts that most of the other songs on the album. There is some nice harp music, along with the horn, bass, drum and piano.

Then there is a Stevie Wonder song, Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer. A mellow, yet somewhat sad song, Brianna does a great job with it.

Heavy bass is the front end for a decent rendition of the Duke Ellington song In A Mellow Tone. About a minute into the song, things kick it up with some nice piano, along with cool trumpet and sax.

The Hoagy Carmichael song Stardust is another standard that is often covered. Brianna does an excellent job with her rendition.

Digging down into to some tough blues is one more Brianna original, Bree's Blues.

The album ends with a beautiful rendition of the Michael LeGrand song You Must Believe In Spring.

Listening to this album, I can understand why Down Beat showered Brianna with accolades. She is well on her way to become a household name in the world of jazz songwriters and vocalists.

You Must Believe In Love can be found at and other online and traditional music retailers.

The official web site for Brianna Thomas is

Brianna's Facebook page is

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© 2015 Bruce E Von Stiers