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Bebop Spoken There

Avishai Cohen (trumpet): "This is my main thing right now: Live in the here and now, take things one day at a time. I'm stopping everything I can, and stripping everything to the bone. I'm spending a lot of time listening to music, playing, going for walks, enjoying my kids." - (DownBeat June 2020).

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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.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

CD/DVD Review: Annie Ross - To Lady With Love

Annie Ross (vcl); Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli (gtr).
(Obeisance by Lance).
Forget Annie by Candlelight - no don't forget it, the album was and is a vocal classic - as was the ground-breaking vocalese of Twisted and Farmer's Market. The Lambert/Hendricks/Ross discs were also important albums that helped to establish Annie Ross as one of the all-time great jazz singers. Yet, To Lady With Love is something else - even by Annie's back catalogue - this is un disque hors catégorie!
On a purely vocal level there are probably a 1000+ singers from Tyneside to Timbuktu with a better voice than Ross has these days. The range is extremely limited but, when it comes to an emotive interpretation, there isn't one in a million who comes within a country mile of Annie Ross in this tribute to Billie Holiday (I've been reminded that Sheila Jordan could be included in that elite group!).
Inspired by Lady Day's Lady in Satin this is the tribute. Ironically, coming as it did at the end of Billie Holiday's turbulent life, Lady in Satin was panned at the time by critics who failed to see beyond the croaked despatch, unable to see into the tortured soul behind the voice. Now the album's true value is belatedly being acknowledged.
That "Lady" Ross recognised and appreciated it in this recording is self evident. 84 year old, the voice reduced to almost the spoken word, the end result is, nevertheless, the most emotional album I've ever heard since, and possibly including, Lady in Satin.
For All We Know; I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You; I'm a Fool to Want You; Violets for Your Furs; You Don't Know What Love Is; You've Changed; When Your Lover Has Gone; I Get Along Without You Very Well; It's Easy to Remember; Travellin' Light; Music is Forever. Each word, each phrase, uttered with feeling and, inescapably, wound around my heart.
As if this wasn't enough, the Pizzarelli father and son team are on hand to provide the panacea for the pain.
My guitar ear isn't sufficiently developed to say who plays what but both are brilliant whether soloing or supporting Annie or each other.
On the DVD that accompanies the CD all three participants talk in glowing terms about the session which was completed in five hours.
Annie Ross - To Lady With Love will be available on Red Anchor CAP 1047 on October 7.
Lance.
PS: Make sure you have a  box of tissues handy to absorb the tears all but the hardest of Hannah's (and Henry's) will experience listening to the track Nothing is Forever.  Afterwards, dry the tears, pour the bubbly and propose a toast to Annie, Bucky, John and, of course, Billie.
I'll drink to that.

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