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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.

Friday, November 29, 2019

CD Review: Anne Phillips – Live At The Jazz Bakery


Anne Phillips (vocals); Roger Kellaway (piano); Bob Kindred (tenor sax); Chuck Berghoffer (bass).
(Review by Ann Alex).

Anne Phillips issued a promising debut album, Born To Be Blue, back in 1959 but, surprisingly, didn't do a follow-up until 2000. In between she was singing behind the scenes in commercial music and writing songs for shows and adverts. Then lately, she appeared at LA's famed Jazz Bakery, doing this live recording of standards and some of her own songs and giving an entertaining spoken account of her life and times.


Instrumentalists first, lest I short change them. Sax and piano really stood out on this CD – Kindred on sax happens to be our singer's husband - they must rehearse for hours at home to reach this standard of well integrated performance. For instance, Born To Be Blue gives us effective lines from sax, tender higher tones and deep darker nuances, to reflect both the thrill and the heartache. On Easy Street the sax produces whimsical low tones during his solo to suit the mood, in fact the instrument, via the player, almost talks to the listener.

The piano – the legend that is Roger Kellaway - is similarly expressive. Any singer that has Kellaway on her team has a two goal start. On Phillips’ own song I'm Gonna Lay My Heart On The Line, a tasty swinger, the bass does, well what basses are supposed to do, keeping the hearts on the line, with a solo on the final track, which then ends with a fat chord from everyone.

Ms Phillips sings in a stylish alto and chats engagingly between songs, pointing out that the emergence of rock 'n roll interfered with her singing career but didn't stop her working. Her own songs are: I'm Gonna Lay My Heart On The Line; Watching You Watching Me; Hey Look Where I Am; New York Night Time Blues; To Make Them Like Me; Another Day Without Him; After All These Years (with P Brody). Various styles are covered, such as blues, cabaret and a children's song - To Make Them Like Me - sung as a waltz.

The standards are Born To Be Blue; Easy Street: Embraceable You; There Will Never Be Another You.

A very enjoyable CD, on  Conawago Records 1014. See www.annephillips.com
Ann Alex  

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