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Bebop Spoken There

Norah Jones: "The jazz world didn't know what to do, the pop world didn't know what to do. Nobody quite knew what to make of me" - (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.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

CD Review: Cheryl Bentyne - reArrangements of Shadows

Just when you thought it was safe to go in to the record store up pops another one! Yes, another singer emerges from the depths. Fortunately, on this occasion, it's Cheryl Bentyne, of Manhattan Transfer who, in reArrangements of Shadows, takes on the daunting task of reimagining songs by the iconic Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim. I say daunting as, unlike the majority of Broadway songsmiths such as Porter, Gershwin, Kern, Berlin etc. Sondheim's works are so specific to the original show that singing them out of context is far from easy. Send in the Clowns is probably the only song in this collection that has prospered in the hands of others...
...until now.
Bentyne is up for it. No doubt but that 38 years of Man Tran has honed her ability to handle just about any vocal situation.
The Ladies Who Lunch comes with two courses. The first one is a vocal threesome with fellow Man Tranian, Janis Siegel and another fine vocalist, Tierney Sutton, joining Bentyne. It's a hoot with the martini tinged voices transporting the listener to an exclusive, upmarket brasserie where the trio cause musical mayhem. The second version - listed as a Bonus Track - is sung solo and is equally effective.
I Remember: poignant with much emotion from voice and sympathetic piano.
Sand: An obscure number from an unproduced movie, Bentyne draws every nuance from the lyric with more Beasley piano and lots of twists and turns from the singer.
Everybody Says Don't is almost vocalese with only bass and drums for support.
Comedy Tonight: Quirky!
I Wish I Could Forget You, sung with only Tom Zink for support, tugs at the heartstrings.
Not a Day Goes by is another one that exudes sadness and sorrow. Few can display those emotions better than Bentyne.
The sombre cello-led strings forewarn us that Move On is going to be more wake than wedding. Bentyne's memory of her own past health problems was
surely a significant factor.
Send in the Clowns; cool bossa backing, cool vocal.
An impressive album by one of the few vocalists capable of bringing Sondheim from Broadway to Birdland and back again.
Lance.
Piano: John Beasley (4 tks); Tom Zink (1 tk); Bevan Manson (1 tk.)
Strings: Rafi Rishik, Irina Voloshina (violins); Jennie Hansen (viola); Armen Ksajikian (cello).
Guitar: Tom McCauley (perc. 2 tks).
Percussion; Brad Dutz (1 tk). John Arrucci (marimba); Kevin Axt (bass); Dave Tull (drums).
Vocals: Cheryl Bentyne; Janis Siegel and Tierney Sutton (1tk); Mark Kibble and Armand Hutton (1 tk).

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