Always in possession of impressive technique and a powerful voice, singer Trudy Kerr brings to her third album greater assurance, more sophisticated phrasing and interpretative qualities gained through experience. She has also moved away from that Chaka Khan approach to singing which characterized earlier recordings. Despite her strong voice, she doesn't overdo it as she moves from up tempo enthusiasm to husky torch singing. Listen to "That Old Black Magic" which starts out just above a whisper but throughout moves up and down the dynamics scale. The same is true for "I Get along without You Very Well" as Kerr works with the drummer who uses cymbals and rolls to underscore the musical message she is making with the lyrics. Nice job. It puts a burden on the listener to stay tuned in. Miss a measure or two and you'll miss an inflection, a slight change of tempo, an unusual accent. Kerr respects the words, turning to scatting infrequently. On those tunes when it seems she is about to launch into a scat, she teases and backs away. Another feature of the album are the unique arrangements. Unfortunately no credit for that good work is given. Nevertheless, because this is an album of practically all standards, it was important that the arrangements avoid well trod interpretative paths. This is accomplished through the interplay of Kerr with the musicians, for instance between her and Geoff Gascoyne's bass and Sebastiaan de Krom's drums on I've Got the World on a String". Kerr also engages with some clever vocal noodling to end the tune.
But it's the presence of one of the top jazz pianist on today's scene, Mulgrew Miller, which is the icing that makes this CD especially appetizing. His dedication to the music and to Kerr's vocal phrasing is critical to the success of this album. This is a vocal set of constantly changing moods, expressions of fresh ideas and solid musicianship. Recommended.
Track Listing: Polka Dots & Moonbeams; That old Black Magic; I've Got the World on a String; Day Dream; Small Day Tomorrow; You Don't Know What Love Is; I've Got just about Everything; The Masquerade Is Over; Mad about the Boy; Star Eyes; Glad to Be Unhappy; I Get along without You Very Well
Personnel: Trudy Kerr - Vocals; Mulgrew Miller - Piano; Geoff Gascoyne - Bass; Sebastian de Krom - Drums; Guy Barker - Trumpet
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.