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Listen to all of our great Arts Desk features on jazz artists making music in the present and the past. Enjoy!

What is Acoustic Smashing? Ask Jazz Singer Jacqui Naylor

Jazz singer Jacqui Naylor

Acoustic smashing has become one of singer Jacqui Naylor’s signature styles. WRTI’s Susan Lewis has more on Naylor, who learned jazz standards at her parents player piano. 

Radio Script:

MUSIC: "Blue Moon," sung by Jacqui Naylor

Susan Lewis:  Drawn to songs and the stories they tell, Jacqui Naylor performs jazz standards, original music, and also does what she calls acoustic smashing.

MUSIC:  "Summertime"

Jacqui Naylor:  Where I’m singing a jazz standard and the band is playing a groove of a tune from a completely other genre.

SL:   Like Gershwin’s "Summertime" over the Allman Brothers" "Whipping Post"

Or, the reverse, such as the song by U2:  "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For," over Miles Davis’s "All Blues."

MUSIC: "I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For"

SL: It works with songs with similar harmonic structures, artfully arranged.  

JN:  We usually look for songs that have a strong bass line for the thing that goes  underneath - a recognizable groove because I’m going to be singing something totally different.

SL: The result? A new take on old favorites.

JN:  Always being respectful of the way it was written, so I’m still singing the melody and lyrics as they were written, but there’s going to be a lot of other stuff going on underneath that hopefully brings in people from different age groups and eras. Sometimes people don’t know the jazz tune, but they know the rock or pop tune, or visa versa.

SL: Naylor has nine albums out; the last, Dead Divas Society, pays tribute to those who’ve influenced her.

Listen to more of Susan's interview with singer songwriter Jacqui Naylor about her influences and how she developed her style of acoustic smashing.

Susan writes and produces stories about music and the arts. She’s host and producer of WRTI’s TIME IN online interview series, and contributes weekly intermission interviews for The Philadelphia Orchestra in Concert series. She’s also been a regular host of WRTI’s Live from the Performance Studio sessions.