Jazz CD Reviews – early February 2016

February 1, 2016

Marlene VerPlanck The Mood I’m In (Audiophile ACD 348)

The past twenty-plus years has seen Marlene VerPlanck regularly visiting the UK, sometimes with side trips to Continental Europe. Only occasionally has she recorded while on these trips and that makes this new release even more of a delight. The regularity of these visits means that Marlene has built up good musical relationships with several key instrumentalists and during her 26th UK tour she went into the studio with the trio of pianist John Pearce, bassist Paul Morgan and drummer Bobby Worth.MVP Also making a most welcome contribution to five tracks is Mark Nightingale on trombone, and on four tracks Andy Panayi on tenor saxophone and flute. Marlene is fully supported by these fine instrumentalists, many of whom have solo moments that are taken with skill and ingenuity. As always, Marlene’s selection of songs is impeccable, drawing as she does not only from familiar materials but also from distant corners of the Great American Songbook as well as work by superior jazz artists. Among the chosen composers are Harry Warren and Ted Koehler, Me And The Blues, Warren and Mack Gordon,This Is Always, Burton Lane and Alan Jay Lerner, Too Late Now, Henry Mancini and Bobby Troup, Free And Easy, Benny Carter and Paul Vandervoort, My Kind Of Trouble Is You, and Duke Ellington, Johnny Hodges and Don George, It Shouldn’t Happen To A Dream. In all cases, Marlene’s innate skill and feeling for the heart of a song allow her to bring warmth and understanding to the often magical worlds created by the lyricists. The set also includes a two-song medley enjoyed by audiences on her tour with which she pays tribute to Frank Sinatra: It Started All Over Again, Carl Fischer and Bill Carey, and The Second Time Around, Jimmy VanHeusen and Sammy Cahn. If you, like me have long been an admirer of Marlene VerPlanck, you will be delighted to know that her vocal sound remains virtually unchanged and as always she has delivered glowing performances of some wonderful songs.

Lyn Stanley Interludes (A.T. Music 3104)

On another album reviewed here a few months ago Lyn Stanley chose her repertoire from songs composed in the 1950s. On this, her third album, Lyn has delved a little further back in time for many of her songs. Although some of these are familiar, they are given interpretations that render them new and fresh while remaining true to the original intentions of composers and lyricists. Among these songs are How Long Has This Been Going On, Just One Of Those Things, More Than You Know, Don’t Explain, In A Sentimental Mood, and Boulevard Of Broken Dreams.lyn stanley Lyn is joined here by two groups of accompanists. On four tracks are Mike Garson, piano, John Chiodani, guitar, Chuck Berghofer, bass, and Paul Kreibich, drums. One nine the core quartet has Bill Cunliffe on piano and Ray Brinker on drums, replacing Garson and Kreibich, with additional instrumentalists appearing on some tracks: Bob McChesney, trombone, Henrick Muerkens, harmonica, Cecilia Tsan, cello, and Brad Dutz, percussion. One track, I’m A Fool To Want You, is just Lyn with John Chiodani’s guitar. Throughout this album, Lyn Stanley sings with flair and understanding and the result is a delight.

Wendy Pedersen & Jim Gasior We Two (Jimmy G’s House of Sound)

Long established in Florida, Wendy Pedersen may be less well known elsewhere in America; if this should be so then surely this must change. On this new set, Wendy sings in duo with pianist Jim Gasior, the two having worked together successfully for several years although I understand that this is their first joint release. Pleasingly blending cabaret with touches of jazz, they present an admirable selection of songs that are chosen and performed with loving care.pedersen Among these are some from the Great American Songbook, Exactly Like You, The Best Thing For You, some from the world of jazz, Everything But You, Jitterbug Waltz, ‛Round Midnight, and others from Broadway, It Ain’t Necessarily So, My Favorite Things. Their obvious shared love for the songs they perform allow Wendy and Jim to respectfully take a few liberties here and there, giving Oh, What A Beautiful Morning a touch of Deep South churchgoing music, The Best Thing For You is taken at a faster tempo than is usually heard, and My Favorite Things is rendered in an unusual time signature. Wendy’s voice is rich, her diction clear, and everywhere she displays her understanding of the lyrics of the songs she sings. Jim’s work here is much more than that of accompanist, he is a collaborator, providing appropriate cushioning to the vocal lines and soloing with imaginative verve. Together they make a thoroughly entertaining duo and this album is warmly recommended.

You will find much more to entertain and inform you on these sites:-

Vintage BandstandJazz FlashesJazz Wax

And Amazon is the place to go for these albums.


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