So excited to learn this review by renowned jazz journalist Scott Yanow will appear in the June 1, 2014 print edition of The Los Angeles Jazz Scene!

I Wanna Work For You

By Scott Yanow

I Wanna Work For You by Alexa Weber Morales

Alexa Weber Morales is a singer-songwriter based in Oakland whose music straddles the boundaries between Latin jazz, salsa, R&B, and pop. She has a very attractive voice, a wide range, can sing in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French, and always sounds like she is having a great time. She has recorded regularly since 2004 including with trombonist Wayne Wallace and the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, whose eponymous CD won the Grammy for Tropical Latin Album in the 56th annual awards. I Wanna Work For You is her third full-length CD as a leader.

On I Wanna Work For You, Ms. Morales is joined by bassist-guitarist Sam Bevan (who arranged her ten original tunes), pianist Jonathan Alford, drummer Colin Douglas, percussionist Carlos Caro, trumpeter Steffen Kuehn and trombonist Mara Fox. The set is full of funky and infectious rhythms, top-notch playing, and the singer’s very expressive vocals. “I Wanna Work For You,” which was inspired by the difficult economy, has a chance of becoming a hit but actually most of the numbers are danceable, catchy and full of spirit. Other highpoints include the rhythmic “Quisiera Retroceder El Tiempo,” Alexa’s hot scat singing on “Into The Stratosphere” (which has a stirring timbales solo), the high-powered “Catastrofe de Amor,” “The Names Of The Winds” (a haunting ballad), the singer’s phrasing and urgency on the heated love song “I Think Of You” and her heartwarming rendition of the set’s one standard, “I Loves You Porgy.”

There is an impressive amount of variety on I Wanna Work For You, yet the music has a consistent unity. Overall, it features Alexa Weber Morales’s singing at its best and is quite enjoyable.

 ~Scott Yanow, author of 11 books including The Jazz Singers