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Bebop Spoken There

Charlie Musselwhite: "I used to see these posters in the windows of the [Chicago] blues clubs advertising Elmore James and Muddy Waters which knocked me out. I was making a note of the addresses and at night I'd go back and listen to the blues until 4-5 in the morning." - (Blues Matters! Aug/Sep 2021)

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The Strictly Smokin' Big Band included Be Bop Spoken Here (sic) in their 5 Favourite Jazz Blogs.

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13,530 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 13 years ago. 948 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (July 31).

Monday, March 11, 2019

CD Review: Cathy Segal-Garcia - Dreamsville

Cathy Segal-Garcia (vocals); Larry Koonse (guitar); Josh Nelson (piano)
(Review by Ann Alex)

The twelfth CD from Cathy Segal-Garcia, singer, songwriter, teacher, and linchpin on the Los Angeles jazz scene, sees her working with A-list musicians, Larry Koonse, a first-call guitarist who has recorded 5 CD’s as a leader plus many others as a sideman, and pianist Josh Nelson, who has 6 albums to his credit and who has also created a multi-media show that involves music, art and visuals.

Dreamsville comprises 8 standards, 2 songs written by Ms Segal-Garcia, and also a piece from the classical repertoire, Scarlatti’s Sonata in B Minor L33, which was originally written for harpsichord. The three musicians worked out all the arrangements together during rehearsals, with the rich alto voice floating over a lush piano and guitar accompaniment.

This was mostly an enjoyable listening experience, with a dreamy feel as suggested by the title, and lots of slow songs though I was longing to hear an honest to goodness swing number. Perhaps they could have included a swinger with ‘dreamy’ words, such as No Moon At All?  The Scarlatti piece didn’t quite work for me. The guitar and piano were excellent, as on all the tracks, but the voice somehow lacked that mysterious spark on this one. I think that generally jazz and classical fusions rarely work. This fusion may have sounded better with just piano and guitar.

These reservations apart, the rest was fine. I especially liked the opening track, Henry Mancini’s Dreamsville, lots of space for an instrumental duet, and the voice playing with the word ‘dreamsville’ up to the fade-out ending. The Three of Us is a heartfelt original song about the fact that the singer’s twin sisters had both died. The three of them used to sing in a trio.

September in the Rain is a superb arrangement, rain and falling leaves portrayed in music and tapping on wood, then leaves chasing around, and the voice does pleasing variations of the tune. Pensativa is normally a bossa, but here it is done as an interesting jazz waltz. Beyond the Years is a haunting original song about finding love after many years and the CD concludes with Sometime Ago/Children’s Song, with wordless vocals and hints of free jazz.

Other tracks are: Canto Triste, Lonely Woman, Zingaro, and You Are There.

The CD is available from March 15, on Dash Hoffman Records DHR 1023, in stores and online at CDbaby.com.

Ann Alex (Our woman in South Shields!)

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