Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Lonson, Sep 1, 2016.
Virginia Rodrigues "Sol Negro"
Revisiting this extraordinary album.
Having met Monk, I would say that his eyes dominated you far more than his physique.
When he stared at you silently, you were completely overpowered.
To me, it is amazing that of the countless thousands of photographs of Monk, very few captured his eyes in that meditative gaze.
Maybe he did not want to engage with photographers or the lens in any deeper sense.
Veronica Swift - Veronica Swift (Astonishment Alert!)
Released just this Friday, I picked Veronica Swift's self-titled release for my Saturday Night Vocals. Not being familiar with Swift, I had no idea whatsoever to expect. What I encountered amazed me. This seemingly young performer has a fantastic natural girt delivered with tremendous range. Nominally a jazz album, there is also blues, funk, classical, songbook, showtune, torch, and even punk! There is zero letdown across this crazy range. Really, I think there's nothing this artist couldn't sing and sing exceptionally well.
The opening I Am What I Am starts with an amiable, welcoming scat after which Swift settles into a musically more laid back but lyrically forceful and unapologetic verse. It would be so easy for this to be a gross mismatch or for the vocalist to settle into the wrong cliché in delivery, but she totally sells it and right from the first song, you can tell this is one talented interpreter of lyrical verse as well as nonsense syllabic memory. Later scatting drifts squarely into classical territory, and again, this should probably come off as gimmicky, but I'll be darned if it doesn't work every bit as well as before! Then for the final verse, swift brings a grand Broadway stage presence delivery and again, she nails it. Incredible.
As great as that lead off cut was, I found the second track, Closer, to be the first listen highlight of the album. Starting off as a blues-funk, it wasn't what I was looking for. But right off the bat, this thing was hot! And after that super hot funky opening, Swift launches into an equally hot scatting session. Can't say I was ever a huge scat fan, but damn, this was hot! Great sax solo to follow, then back into the funky groove with Swift's vocals setting the place on fire. Yeah, this was.... well, you know....
The following Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me heads down the delta and finds ultra heavy blues balladry that is positively incendiary. Swift brings a Janis Joplin vibe into her delivery that serves the song in astonishing fashion. Add in a scorching electric blues guitar solo that would make Buddy Guy proud and you've got another winner.
After three fire breathing cuts, we finally get a genuine ballad in The Show Must Go On. Surely now we'll find the chink in Swift's vocal armor, right? Nope. She brings a deceivingly mature element to the low and slow opening, and then seamlessly slips into a calypso without missing a beat. Flawless and exemplary.
For I'm Always Chasing Rainbows, we get a classical Liberace piano intro eventually transitioning into strings setting up an impossible task for the vocalist to follow. To her credit, Swift doesn't try to match the flourish of the intro, but wisely takes the gentle, understated route and we easily settl in right with her and the lush orchestrations. Beautiful.
In the Moonlight, based on the melody of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata finds the nexus between R&B and torch song and it turns out to be a stellar overlap, at least in Swift's hands, who give an intense and convincing performance.
Severed Heads is the first song I didn't totally love. I didn't take as well to the duet with Austin Patterson, whose voice is just no match for Swift.
For Je Veux Vivre, Swift shifts to French, and brings in the full Parisienne sound with violin and accordion, putting you right there at a sidewalk cafe in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. To be honest, this one did sound a little gimmicky, but was still a nice addition to the album.
Sticking with the European theme, Chega de Saudade is delivered in its native Portuguese and comes across as more authentic. It's not a song to wow you off the bat, but as it progresses, Swift somehow manages to gradually turn up the beauty quotient and by the end, well..... wow!
Now for the biggest surprise so far.... Keep Yourself Alive (yes the Freddie Mercury/Queen staple)! This straight ahead hard rocker subject to great bombast is instead turned into a horn filled gospel blues, and it's brilliant! But still not the biggest surprise on the album...
.... which falls to the closer, Don't Rain on My Parade. So what does one do with a Barbara Streisand standard? Take it and go full on punk, that's what! Yeah, we got a jazz singer doing a punk version of classic Streisand! And yes, it works. To a T! It probably won't sit well with traditionalists in any of those realms, but for those ready to finish with deep irreverent fun, it'll be great fun and provides the perfect bookend to an album that started off by saying "I Am What I Am"
And I already dearly love what Veronica Swift is!
What gets me is this subscription so you can be guaranteed a lower number. Really? Who cares?
1. This Bitter Earth (4:27)
2. How Lovely to Be a Woman (4:11)
3. You've Got to Be Carefully Taught (5:16)
4. Getting to Know You (6:19)
5. The Man I Love (4:50)
6. You're the Dangerous Type (4:25)
7. Trust in Me (5:20)
8. He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss) (2:12)
9. As Long as He Needs Me (4:56)
10. Everybody Has the Right to Be Wrong (2:54)
11. Prisoner of Love (4:17)
12. The Sports Page (6:21)
13. Sing (5:44)Veronica Swift, vocals
Emmet Cohen, piano
Yashushi Nakamura, bass
Bryan Carter, drums
Aaron J Johnson, flute
Armand Hirsch, guitar
01. You're Gonna Hear from Me (3:47)
02. A Little Taste (3:42)
03. Interlude (5:13)
04. Forget About the Boy (5:02)
05. A Stranger in Town (6:22)
06. I Don't Wanna Cry Anymore (3:08)
07. I Hope She Makes You Happy (4:24)
08. Confession/The Other Woman (6:43)
09. Gypsy in My Soul (3:45)
10. No Not Much (3:34)
11. I'm Hip (2:24)
12. No Regrets (3:29)
Veronica Swift - vocals
Emmet Cohen Trio (#1,2,4-6,9-12):
Emmet Cohen - piano
Russell Hall - bass
Kyle Poole - drums
Benny Green Trio (#3,7-8):
Benny Green - piano
David Wong - bass
Carl Allen - drums
Grady Tate - After the Long Drive Home
I inadvertently extended Saturday Night Vocals last night. I was actually in the mood for some cool/bop oriented jazz and recognizing the name Grady Tate as the drummer on many of my favorite albums ranging from Mingus to Montgomery, I figured I'd find how he does a leader. Multiple sources list After the Long Drive Home as a jazz or even specifically a hard bop album. It turns out that's just lazy reporting there. Turns out, there's no hard bop here, not even jazz of any type here. This is a down-the-middle-for-its-time soul/R&B album. Furthermore, there's really nothing engaging in the drumming here and it's all about Tate's vocals! Recipe for tremendous disappointment.
But I listened, and it turned out to be well worth the ear time. Tate's voice is wonderful; just right for this genre, and musically, it's a dandy example of the genre. The album is so in the pocket for its time and style that I had nice nostalgic feeling along with the general music appreciation. So not what I wanted, but in the end not really a disappointment. The unexpected can be fun, and as it turns out, is often welcome.
Not only that but the same number! That’s some serious collector obsession.
And on top of that you’re giving them an interest free loan of your money. If they go bankrupt a subscriber will probably recoup a fraction of that amount.
Yes, the Paul Desmond material is more essential (to my ears).
Added to Qobuz queue. Thanks as always for the eloquent review.
WP: Frank Rosolino – I Play Trombone (Bethlehem 1955 OG)
Anyone know how to remove spindle marks from record labels? Next area of LP restoration for me to explore, and this copy is a good candidate.
NP: Count Basie Orchestra – April In Paris (Clef 1956 OG)
Basie in fine form.
Like many Verve titles (Dizzy in Greece), the cover suggests a touring recording. Assumption: It was in NY.
The title track was used in Grand Theft Auto IV (I learned). Not where I'd expect it to turn up.
From a stack of acquisitions yesterday, I've been prioritizing the most beat-up records first, as I'm most eager to hear how well I made out.
Recorded 1991 / 2021 Enja/ Utra-Vybe CD re-issue
An inspired session in superb sound. Formanek and Hirshfield are a great rhythm section. Formanek's composed parts played in unison by Berne and Feldman, or Krantz, as well as the contra-melodies make for a pleasurable and engaging listening experience.
How do you remove ringwear from covers that aren’t white?
In most cases, buy another copy.
Though sung and written in Portuguese, this Jobim composition is actually not European but a Brazilian standard. I love it!
Ahhh, I should have known!
Immanuel Wilkins "The 7th Hand" Blue Note cd
One of my favorite Blue Notes of the last five years.
Listening to both Tex Book Tenor and Back From Gig which includes the 1968 Tex Book Tenor session and Horace Parlan sextet’s Happy Frame of Mind
Superbe vinyl & excellent with Sonny Clarke- have the edition from Japan.
I’ll do that again Elvin Jones Re-issue series The Prime Element - half tracks from 1973 that only made the EJ Blue Note Mosaic box and half from At This Point in Time from 1969
I know there are a few people here are into Thumbscrew - Michael Formanek, Mary Halvorson, and Tomas Fujiwara. This is a free show they're doing to mark their 5th biennial residency at City of Asylum - Alphabet City, Pittsburgh. Show time 6pm tomorrow - which is 11pm UK time so I've booked my ticket already.
Celebrate Thumbscrew’s 5th Biennial Residency at City of Asylum - City of Asylum
One of those artists for whom I have but a single album - Nós - but really ought to have more. I believe the one I have was the follow-up to Sol Negro.
I'm guessing that I probably heard her on one of those UK radio shows which specialised in so-called World Music - probably Charlie Gillett or Andy Kershaw.
The New Wave in Jazz
What a great listen.
Yusef Lateef’s Detroit
Separate names with a comma.