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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Review - Ruth Lambert's "Easy Street" *****

After a year of false dawns I am pleased to announce that, finally, the new Ruth Lambert CD is now available on the Jazz Action label. Every track is a gem and I make no apology for treating each one individually.
Easy Street: A totally relaxed and convincing Ruth accompanied only by Mark Williams on guitar. Never Will I Marry: One of Frank's 'Loesser' known tunes (sorry about that!). Up tempo with a sizzling tenor solo by Graeme Wilson. It's not an easy song to sing but Ruth's pitching is spot on. There's also a nice bass intro from Andy Champion. Beautiful Love: Victor Young's classic ballad. Piano, bass, drums backing. Sultry laid back vocal. Paul Edis piano solo - need I say more? Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend*: Whereas Marilyn insinuated and caressed the lyric, Ruth takes the no nonsense, straight talking, matter of fact approach and it works! Not least because of the Graeme Wilson arrangement for Splinter who provide the backing. Chris Hibbard solos on trombone. ‘Round Midnight*: The Splinter octet remain for this original take by John Warren of possibly the best known Thelonious Monk composition. If John had been American he'd be rated alongside Gil Evans and George Russell. Ruth's smoky vocal is perfectly suited to that time of the evening. Taking A Chance On love: More Mark Williams guitar with Graeme Wilson’s tenor and Andy Champion’s bass adding extra ambiance to Ruth’s vocal. Dindi: A Jobim tune, Mark Wlliams guitar chords and Ruth. Does anyone have a better recipe? Once again our girl displays her faultless intonation. Cry Me A River: After Julie London it takes guts to tackle this one but, with just Paul Edis’ backing, Ruth is up there with JL. Secret Love*: The octet kick this one along thanks once again to John Warren’s imaginative arrangement and some fine bass work from Andy Champion. Ruth re-fashions the song, cleverly steering it away from the cloyingness of the original. Love That Never Dies: Ruth’s own composition features Graeme Wilson, tenor, and Andy Champion, bass, as well a fine arrangement by Graeme. This is Always: Another beautiful guitar/vocal track. The Harry Warren/Mack Gordon song has had few better recordings not least because of Mark's sympathetic guitar work and Ruth's feeling for the lyric. West Coast Blues: Interesting to compare this version with Zoë Gilby’s. Z’s is a more laid back affair whereas R’s begins that way the entry of the horns builds it up to quite a frenetic state with a Graham Hardy trumpet solo that doesn't hurt a bit. I can happily live with them both Musicians: Graham Hardy (tpt), Graeme Wilson (ten), Paul Edis (pno), Mark Williams (gtr), Andy Champion (bs), Tim Johnstone (dms).
* Add Noel Dennis (tpt), Chris Hibbard (tmb), Adrian Tilbrook (dms).
If you enjoyed Ruth's previous album "So Many Stars" then you'll want this one.
Click here for Myspace samples.
The CD is now available from Ruth either at gigs or, from September 14, via her new website http://www.ruthlambert.co.uk/. The official launch of the CD is scheduled for October 23 at the Saville Exchange, North Shields. Watch this space for more details.
Lance.

1 comment :

Russell said...

Hi Lance

Ruth's new website looks great. I've been listening to the new tunes - all are excellent with some top arrangements. I can't wait for the gig at the Saville Exchange.

Russell

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