Classic jazz vibes of multi-colored layers and instruments create an organic, timeless yet crisp, contemporary Adult Alternative vibe as composer and pianist Richard Isen showcases an unmistakable yet timeless hit, “Too Sweet,” together with Sarah Isen.
Sarah Isen was destined to sing. An anonymous donor created her in Berkeley, CA, the daughter of LGBT mothers. She grew up in the same house as her uncle Richard Isen, a professional musician, and award-winning musical theater songwriter.
She got her first concert at the age of 14 at a local senior center, where she performed her favorite songs and some jazz standards taught to her by her uncle Richard. Her donor father agreed to let himself be known during her adolescence, and it turned out that he, too, sang and had been a part of a professional ensemble years earlier. Sarah appeared as St. Luna on ‘American Idol 2020’ and Fox’s ‘Alter Ego’ in 2021.
Richard Isen was a jazz cocktail lounge piano man, television composer, musical theater experimenter, software engineer, and online pioneer. Richard Isen and his piano weave a dreamy, after-hours melancholy with a thoughtful, sympathetic, and frequently hilarious perspective on life and music.
He has an MFA in Musical Theater Writing from NYU and has been nominated for an Emmy Award. He has garnered numerous theatrical prizes and funding throughout the year, including Performing Songwriter magazine designating him Top 12 DIY for his debut release, ‘LET IT FALL.’
We have a melodic, profoundly soulful, and intensely personal voice. And it’s delivering a heartfelt lyric with a connection that modulates between barely reined-in abandon and gentle, considered precision. It’s a wholly dynamic performance that screams of a confident performer in perfect control of her voice. It’s breathtaking.
Fascinating rhythms and the lightness of piano contrasted and reinforced by the weight of the music – Richard Isen and Sarah Isen kick off with a stylish organic composition of genre-blending presence, broader thoughts, and catchy melodies.
Featuring the mellow embrace of timeless jazz with a clear contemporary overtone production-wise, “Too Sweet” follows the soulful tone of Mister Sarah Isen’s voice as it offers a series of poetic references and imagery-laden scenes and ideas.
Encapsulating the sound and talent of the artists, “Too Sweet” is all at once conceptually considerate and stylishly pure. Clean-cut vocals make for a refreshing change in direction in the current Adult Alternative/Jazz landscape – as does the organic instrumental setup.
Brilliant, a personal favorite from the year so far for its delicate balance between creative freedom and the known to be effective building blocks of worthwhile, memorable, and popular music. I look forward to more.