Home     Content     Articles      La Scena Musicale     Search   

La Scena Musicale - Vol. 12, No. 10 July 2007

Sophie Milman

by Caroline Pelletier / July 31, 2007

“I was ready,” Sophie Milman says of her second album, Make Someone Happy, which hit stores this month, “I was beyond ready.” She has come a long way from her 2004 self-titled debut album that scored her a Juno nomination. One finds an honest, maturing sound that she says evolved through the past few hectic years of her budding jazz career while balancing a commerce degree, international tours and a first relationship. Milman, just 24, offers through her emotion-infused songs a competent vocalist and a serious contender in Canada’s growing female jazz vocal scene.

Two and a half years of international touring and life changes has strengthened the bond she has with herself and her music as well as with her band. “I feel like they get me,” she says and humbly adds, “I really can’t take credit just for myself because they really have been instrumental in helping me create a sound.” Tracks include the title tune that showcases an interesting mixture that carries on throughout the album: a mature, sultry tone with a hint of youthful innocence. A cover of “Fever”, which may make some listeners apprehensive of yet another jazz cliché, delightfully turns out to be original and refreshing. A quirky rendition of Kermit the Frog’s lament, “It Ain’t Easy Being Green”, surprises listeners with an ever-so-subtle commentary of her life so far. “I always felt green,” she states. “I felt like the girl in the corner that didn’t fit in because I was a combination of so many different things.”

Milman grew up in rural Russia listening to her father’s old jazz vinyls that were not easy to come by. The family moved to Israel when she was seven and would eventually call Canada home by the time she was 16. With such an exuberant past, one only wonders why she hasn’t considered writing her own material. “I really see my role right now as an interpreter,” she says with a pause, “there are so many amazing songs to choose from – I’d rather sing good covers than bad originals.” She still plans on experimenting with different sounds, however, with possible future covers by Canadian songwriters Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, as well as some Israeli songs. Does this mean that Milman is moving away from jazz? “At the end of the day, a song can be interpreted in any sort of way. The song of course has a lot to do with the lyrics, so it can be arranged in so many different ways. That’s the magic about jazz, that’s what I love so much about it.”

With over 100,000 copies of her first album sold and a solid international fan base, one expects big things from Milman. The blonde curly-haired star is no fool, however. “I admire innovative artists, but I don’t believe I’m put on this earth to reinvent music,” she explains, “I don’t think I have the ability for it but most importantly I’m not really interested in it. I feel a lot, and if I can show that in a song, nothing could make happier.” n

(c) La Scena Musicale