"Kendra Shank's delectable voice--warm-toned, fine-grained, quietly
sexy--sets her well apart from the crowd, as does her knack for picking
unhackneyed, slightly off-center material. The up-tempo tunes swing
hard; the ballads shimmer and shine. Get in on the ground floor: this
lady is going up."
-Terry Teachout, TIME
"...she takes the old folkie "Black Is the Color of My True Love's
Hair" and gradually whips it into a Coltrane-esque emotional
frenzy. ...Shank is supremely talented, innovative and at the same
time readily accessible. There's no one else quite like her."
-Will Friedwald, VILLAGE VOICE (NY)
"This vocalist makes lyrics believable, invents like an
instrumentalist, and has an ear second to none for little-known and
unknown tunes. ...Shank is that rarity among jazz vocalists, a risk
taker who stays in tune. Her voice is dark and haunting, and she
prefers subtle variations to overly demonstrative embellishments. She
also functions like a true equal with her excellent rhythm section..."
-Bob Blumenthal, THE BOSTON GLOBE (Top 10 CD - "Reflections")
"...a standout...a unique and immediately identifiable sound and
style. ...Her renderings of songs often took a reconstructive path, as
she disassembled phrases, then reassembled them in her own imaginative
fashion...the results were remarkable--the original flow of words and
music still present, but recast into a form that brought new
illumination to the story and the song. If there's any justice in the
music world, you should be hearing Kendra Shank's name--along with the
superb music she makes--a lot more."
-Don Heckman, LOS ANGELES TIMES
"...(a) striking presence...her musicianship is powerful."
Hentoff, WALL STREET JOURNAL
"A superbly skilled vocalist, Ms. Shank interprets jazz and pop
liberally, but with an abiding respect for melody."
-Nate Chinen, NEW
YORK TIMES (Critic's Choice)
"Kendra Shank sounds like sunlight shining through a stained-glass
window, her crystalline tone illuminating each song. Working her voice
like a horn, she phrases inventively, whether crisp and sizzling or
sensuously smoky. She's definitely an original..."
"...one of the most probing and inspired romanticists in jazz."
Seymour, NEWSDAY (Top 10 CD - "Reflections")
***** "The precociously talented Kendra Shank is among the best of the
great young jazz vocalists to emerge in the 1990's. 'Wish' is a
-John Swenson, ROLLING STONE JAZZ & BLUES
ALBUM GUIDE (5 stars, top rating - "Wish")
"...uniquely seductive and captivating...her voice envelopes you like
cool, soft sheets."
-Marc Fisher, WASHINGTON POST
"...she intoxicates with a combination of power and perfume. ...Shank
has a mature, intelligent voice, dark and sensuous, playful but never
girlish. Her tone is clear, but she doesn't hesitate to get it
dirty. ...her bounding, courageous solos sometimes bring to mind Kurt
Elling (though she started her career first), bridging the gap between
singing and speaking..."
-Neil Tesser, CHICAGO READER (Critic's
*** "The penetrating-voiced, modern-minded Shank breathes life into
an impressive breadth of material."
-Zan Stewart, DOWN BEAT (3 stars
"Kendra Shank is an original. A singer with a sound."
"Shank's luxurious voice and pliant guitar are sparse and understated,
shimmering with a luminous aura."
-Wayne Saroyan, JAZZIZ
"...splendidly original...she has her own sensuous way of phrasing,
stretching time to suit her taste, a lithe voice, and a knowing
repertoire. ...one of the most consistently interesting vocalists on
the New York scene."
-Gary Giddins, VILLAGE VOICE (Critic's Choice)
"...an improviser with a beautiful voice who is never afraid to take
chances...one of the top jazz singers around today."
L.A. JAZZ SCENE
"A bevy of jazz singers are coming into their own right now, and
Kendra Shank may be the most intrepid of them. Not only does she do
standards and new melodic discoveries her own way, she's capable of
doing so while hanging on to that familiar thread."
Williams, TIME OUT NEW YORK (Critic's Choice)
"...she knows how to extract the maximum drama from a lyric with
precisely calibrated phrasing and a rich, polychromatic tone, at turns
ebullient and vulnerable."
-Ted Panken, DOWN BEAT
"Ms. Shank convincingly struts her stuff from the very first
tune...reharmonizing and reconfiguring the contours of the composition
with a shape-shifting scat-and-stop dynamic reminiscent of Betty
-John Stevenson, EJAZZNEWS.COM
"...a true ensemble performance...every tune was a musical
collaboration...the conversation of four close friends...effortless,
natural and unscripted."
-Joe Kruty & Will Wolf, NY JAZZ REPORT
"...a practically telepathic integration...these four people appear to
have emerged from the same womb."
-Lawrence Brazier, JAZZ NOW
"A musician among musicians, Shank treats her voice like another
instrument in the band rather than as its centerpiece. She sings
fresh, melodic phrases in buoyant, broken rhythm--the antithesis of
heavy swing--a style reminiscent of jazz impressionists like Miles
Davis and Bill Evans."
-Jason West, SEATTLE WEEKLY
"Ms. Shank is a risk taker who ventures fearlessly onto the high
wire. ...Her jagged phrasing, willingness to stretch and manipulate
time and her refusal to resolve phrases in conventional ways give her
singing genuine originality. ...one of the most interesting, creative
and promising jazz singers of her generation."
-Mathew Bahl, ALL
"...an adventurous and innovative artist who commands attention in the
growing gallery of jazz vocalists."
-Robert L. Daniels, VARIETY
"...spare, lean, understated, honest...a clear, well-focused voice..."
-Chip Deffaa, NEW YORK POST
"Shank uses her voice like an instrument--floating, swooping,
caressing, or swirling--and always does so in a musical fashion. That
she manages to tell the story in each song while she's playing with
the tones and notes is Shank's special triumph."
-Kirk Silsbee, LOS
ANGELES NEW TIMES
"Kendra Shank embodies all that a true jazz singer once was and is
-Tom Terrell, JAZZ TIMES
"Shank sings with (an)...expressiveness and confidence that allows her
to hesitate, pause, accent, or stretch the time in a truly personal,
-Paul De Barros, SEATTLE TIMES
"Shank has an innovative approach to her work that gives freshness to
even familiar tunes."
-Bob Karlovits, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
"Shank's ability to incorporate her far-flung musical experiences
within a jazz context is apparent on her latest CD, the beautifully
-Andrew Gilbert, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE
"...she diligently avoids the mundane..."
-Tom Surowicz, MINNEAPOLIS
"Shank is among the most interesting and imaginative vocalists in all
of jazz right now."
-Rob Hubbard, ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS
"With her supple voice and subtle phrasings, Shank exudes
-Calvin Wilson, KANSAS CITY STAR
"On every title she displays a sympathetic feeling for jazz
phraseology and, above all else, she knows how to tell a story."
-Barry McRae, JAZZ JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL
"Kendra Shank n'imite pas, et ne tire pas la couverture à elle. Elle
s'applique à chanter, à être un instrument de plus dans un orchestre
de jazz. C'est original, c'est sincère, ça vient des tripes avec juste
ce qu'il faut de sophistication."
-Michel Bedin, JAZZ HOT
"Bending the notes like a Miles Davis ballad solo, sometimes ahead of
the beat, sometimes behind it, but always on the mark, Kendra Shank's
wit, intuitive phrasing and just plain chops make "Wish" a gem."
Hillegas, CUADERNOS DE JAZZ
"Shank's delivery is lithe, snappy, elastic and sensitive where need
-THE EDMONTON JOURNAL
KENDRA SHANK APPEARS IN THESE BOOKS:
The History and Tradition of Jazz (7th Edition), 2022, by Tom Larson.
The Great Jazz Guitarists: The Ultimate Guide, 2013, by Scott Yanow.
The Jazz Singers: The Ultimate Guide, 2008, Scott Yanow.
The Oxford Companion to Jazz, 2000, Will Friedwald essay
The Rolling Stone Jazz & Blues Guide, 1999, John Swenson.
All Music Guide to Jazz, 3rd Edition, 1998, Scott Yanow.
The Gramophone Jazz Good CD Guide, 1995, Keith Shadwick.