The accompanists on this album perfectly attuned to the same wavelength and always open to adventure, above all the sensationally resourceful pianist Laurence Hobgood, also acting as an arranger and producer, are a godsend for any soloist, but especially for the jazz-inclined and pop not disinclined singer / songwriter Arianna Neikrug, who presents her debut album with Changes. In addition to the pianist, there are the drummer Jared Schonig and the bassist Matt Clohesy, who convincingly succeed in congenially reflecting the singer's currently special state of mind. In fact, the songs on Changes are not just feel-good songs, but songs whose fundamentally positive and life-affirming tenor also expresses the singer's longing for peace in the broadest sense. Arianna Neikrug conveys this "double-edged" mood in each of the songs on Changes very authentically with her not too big, not at all luxurious or "black", but lively, bright, high-pitched and sometimes girlish fragile voice which is always deeply touching.
In addition to the songs "Changes" and "New York Song" coming from her pen, which are dedicated to the controversial feelings of a just grown-up from the protected existence of a teenager into the world distant of the parents, the 25-year-old Arianna Neikrug takes in her debut album on the Great American Songbook as well as on contemporary pop songs and R & B songs of the 70s. "Changes" conveys a good deal of autobiography of the singer, who, despite her relatively young age, has undergone quite a few changes in the form of a rather troubled, diversified existence. Already as a child , she was acting and singing on stage, before she took up and successfully graduated jazz studies at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music. An essential part of her career as a jazz singer she was winning the 2015 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition immediately after completing her jazz studies, which gave her credits in entering the crème de la crème of the jazz scene, including Steve Miller, Alice Cooper, Kenny Burrell, Neil Young, Al Jarreau, Mindy Abair, James Moody, George Benson, Karrin Allyson, Gretchen Parlato, and Roseanna Vitro. Since then, the most famous US jazz clubs have been open to her appearance, such as the Birdland in New York City and the Catalina Jazz Club in Los Angeles. Arianna Neikrug also was awarded first prize at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival 2015 with her jazz singer combo extensions. No wonder, then, that on her debut album Changes you cannot help but notice that her singing skills are deeply rooted in jazz.
Changes is more than a promising debut album of a remarkable rediscovery of jazz singing. Rather, Changes is a great album of a surprisingly mature jazz personality at an adolescent age, with an independent vocal style that adds a new, distinctive color to the jazz-style environment of today's exciting squad of young singers.