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  • Jonathan Widran

DEB BOWMAN, Fast Heart

Blending elements of her church and gospel music upbringing with shimmering pop and adventurous R&B, blues and jazz sensibilities, actress, world traveling vocalist and songwriter Deb Bowman’s pays soulful homage to her beloved sister Patti on her musically and spiritually transcendent new album Fast Heart.

The timing of its release is not coincidental. as this marks the 10th anniversary of Patti’s passing from breast cancer. Patti loved butterflies, which just so happen to be a symbol of ovarian cancer awareness, so the stunning album artwork and several of the classics Deb so deftly and imaginatively interprets – most notably Thelonious Monk’s whimsical “Pannonica” and Herbie Hancock’s passionate, soaring “Butterfly” – directly include that whimsical theme.

There are moments of great poignancy, but Fast Heart is mostly a joyous celebration of a grand life whose spirit endures vibrantly with a great power to impact. Backed by pianist ELEW, drummer WOLF, Hammond B-3 virtuoso Greg Lewis, the Arnold Strickland produced set is a showcase for Bowman to share her her magical bond with Patti via fresh, engaging re-workings of a variety of standards (a strutting Moody’s Mood For Love,” a simmering “Georgia On My Mind,” an uncommonly tender “La Vie En Rose”) and a batch of infectious, heartfelt originals. It goes without saying that Fast Heart will make yours beat a lot louder.

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