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Jazz

Jazz in the Afternoon - Cullercoats Crescent Club, 1 Hudleston, Cullercoats NE30 4QS. Tel: 0191 253 0242. 1:00pm. Free.

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Tenement Jazz Band - Prohibition Bar, Pink Lane, Newcastle NE1 5DW. 8:30pm (doors). Free (donations).

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

CD Review: Masumi Ormandy - Sunshine in Manhattan

Masumi Ormandy (vcl); Lee Tomboulian (pno/arr); Dean Johnson (bs); Tim Horner (dms) + Paul Meyers (gtr); Houston Person (ten); Freddie Hendrix (tpt); Sara Caswell (vln).
(Review by Lance).
Masumi Ormandy had a dream, a dream that one day she'd record a jazz album. It didn't happen overnight, in fact, Ormandy was 77 before her dreams came to fruition. Prior to Sunshine in Manhattan, the Tokyo born singer taught English at her Pacific Language School. When her passion for jazz singing surfaced she moved from Tokyo to New York and studied with Roseanna Vitro, an esteemed clinician, performer, recording artist, and vocal instructor with 12 albums of her own including a Grammy Nomination.

After 3 months of study, Vitro decided the time was ripe for Masumi to record an album. Her mentor set up the musicians - a dream team with tenor legend Houston Person providing some gutsy solos, Freddie Hendrix blowing some Armstrong inspired licks and Tomboulian chipping in with the arrangements as well as some exemplary piano playing.
Ormandy sings well - not just for a 77-year-old but for an any year old!  Which brings me to the album cover. The photo was either taken 50 years ago or she's related to Dorian Gray!
It's easy listening and I say that without any derogatory connotations. Ormandy's got an appealing voice and it's good to hear Houston Person.
No great surprises amongst the repertoire.
On the Sunny Side of the Street; It Had to be You; They Can't Take That Away From Me; I'll Be Seeing You; Autumn Leaves; Misty; Blue Skies; As Time Goes by; Summertime (natch!) and My Way
Lance.
Available Sept. 12 on Miles High Records.

5 comments :

Elizabeth T said...

Thanks, Lance! I would suggest that the treatment of "My Way" qualifies as a surprise in the repertoire. :-)

Lance said...

Certainly does Elizabeth. It's perhaps my least favourite Sinatra number and yet, Masumi does draw something out of it. Perhaps she DID do it her way! The violin helps to make this interesting - As you say, Elizabeth T, a surprise.

Roseanna V said...

Thank you for your review of Masumi's first album. I'd like to note, the cover photo was taken a couple of months ago by John Abbott. John knows how to use lighting for the best images but Masumi really looks and acts 30 years younger than her age. I think it's a testament to good Japanese genes, a healthy diet and doing what you love. She was an inspiration to work with and super fun to produce. Thanks again, so glad you liked the music. Roseanna V

Holly Cooper said...

Thank you, Lance, for this terrific review! Will spread the word now!

David Owen said...

The album opens with "They Can't Take That Away", which is apt given that Masumi has held on to the dream of releasing a jazz album for all her life.
She delivers a delightful and laid back album, which I find I can listen to over and over again.
The standout tracks, in addition to the one already mentioned are "Misty," "It had To Be You" because I love the acoustic guitar which features throughout and "Blue Skies."
A fantastic realisation of a long held dream and dreamy vocals which force you to stop and just listen and relax.

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