You can’t go wrong with Beatrice Betley. Already, you probably like her name. With only a few singles released from her upcoming collection Upside|Down (Not A Fox Records), the jazz and crossover singer’s latest song is “Flow”. With never an instance to dwell, Betley’s up tempo beats purify the jazz lover’s soul and convince the casual music fan to swing her way.
Betley grabs you with her stirring vocals that recall the hubris of Lani Hall and the musical force that is Diana Krall. Her somewhere-in-between that moniker gives her a lot of room to explore the jazz biodome and Betley does so with gregarious gumption. Betley, born in Hamburg, Germany, now lives in The Netherlands. When she sings bumped into you, what I can do, the listener is thinking that she might have purposely bumped into her co-worker (or boss) at work. We know the song is taking place at work, of all places, she laments, but we have to wonder if that was the plan all along. Betley continues, a dynamic saxophone whales, as if the layering is part of her cat call. She sings facetiously, one look into your eyes and I never would be the same, and the listener sort of inserts their own mad libs (doobie, doobie, doobie). The piano and the bass guitar are flashing away, just as you might think Betley’s eyelashes are dreamingly looking upon this man.
In a testament to Betley’s loyalty to jazz, the drums sashay in utter subdued arrangements. Understated but not ignored, the drums in “Flow” bleed together with the keys, xylophone and that show stopper saxophone. Even as you think the song is moving in one funky direction, Betley and company compel you to find another chair to push from under you and get up to dance. The music video is a bit more frantic and blinding, neon streaks criss cross apple sauce on the screen. Euphoric and three glasses of red wine into the song, one is feeling pretty relaxed and Betley’s audacious doo-whap-like vocals curtail your confusion. Her voice is the anchor to it all and the dancing beauty on the screen exemplifies the Zen mode. At one point, I thought Madonna’s “Ray Of Light” would burst in between the “Flow” video with the shifting images and caffeinated colors. It’s an illusion and the kaleidoscope editing translates the “Flow” spirit quite perfectly.
“Flow” is full of bliss and is an escape into the jazz and world-music musical lanes. With Betley behind the wheel, no traffic or smog can cut off the listener’s clear vision of sonic success. She departs just momentarily from the traditional jazz lane, and speeds into an amalgamation of funk, EDM and Flamenco in “Flow”; it’s definitely one track to add to your Spotify playlist and be sure to check out her previous single, “Sunshine”. Upside|Down is anticipated to drop in a few, hopefully short months. It’s time to ride the Beatrice Betley bus and sit back and enjoy the wonderful ride.