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Bebop Spoken There

Clare Teal: "If you're brought up in a working-class family, you haven't got money for records so everything you get hold of, you treasure, learn to love, and I loved those Ella tapes." - (Radio Times 23-29 January 2021)

The Things They Say!

Hudson Music: Lance's "Bebop Spoken Here" is one of the heaviest and most influential jazz blogs in the UK.

Rupert Burley (Dynamic Agency): "BSH just goes from strength to strength".


12,393 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 112 of them this year alone and, so far, 112 this month (Jan. 23).

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Album review: Roseanna Vitro - Listen Here

Roseanna Vitro (vocals); Kenny Barron (piano); Buster Williams (bass); Ben Riley (drums) + Arnett Cobb (tenor sax - 3 tks); Bliss Rodriguez (piano - 1 tk); Scott Hardy (guitar - 1 tk); Duduka Da Fonseca (perc. - 2 tks). 

Amazingly, considering this was originally released in 1984, I am totally unfamiliar with Rosenna Vitro even though she has released a dozen or so more albums since. In fact her 2011 release - The Music of Randy Newman - was nominated for a Grammy. Where have I been all these years?

Listen Here was her debut album and, if I'd heard it back in '84 it would be on my shelves (and on my turntable) today.
A distinct and powerful voice that hits every note spot on. Her occasional scat chorus isn't just a novelty but an extension of the song. Like all great jazz singers, her choice of intervals both surprises and delights.

The accompanying trio are on the money with Kenny Barron reminding me just how good a pianist he was then and is now.

As an added bonus the great Arnett Cobb appears on three tracks. What a sound! He really was the toughest of the Texas Tenors. His emphatic contributions can be heard on Centerpiece, Love You Madly and It Could Happen to You

Buster Williams brings in Easy Street, setting it up for Vitro's salty vocal, then takes a chorus before the singer almost brings it to a conclusion - almost! That honour goes to Barron - what was that final chord? I don't know but it was a beaut!

You Took Advantage of Me: bass/voice opening, bass solo, voice cleverly restructures the melody - another winner!

Back in the day, the wannabees hadn't all got their claws into Black Coffee. Vitro had! She took the alternative route to Peggy. Going for the jugular rather than tugging at the heartstrings. In this version, Roseanna's man returning from "goin' a-lovin'" would have got the freshly percolated jug of black coffee right in his kisser!

Other numbers on this welcome reissue are: No More Blues; You Go to My Head; A Time to Love; This Happy Madness; Listen Here; Sometime Ago.

Available Feb. 12

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