How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Carla Cook follows up her Grammy-nominated
It's all About Love with a slightly funkier fair...but only after some mainstream flirtations.
Carla Cook's 1999 It's All About Love was one of the inaugural releases of the then fledgling MAXJAZZ label. It was honored with a Grammy® nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. It was an eclectic and ingenious collection of tunes from all corners of the genre spectrum. This year's Dem Bones is no exception to the precedent she set with her last recording. She peppers this offering with the mainstream ("The More I See You", "Like a Lover"), the swinging ("Oh Gee", "Just A Sittin' Here Rockin'"), and the down-right funky ("Dem Bones", "Ode to Billie Joe").
Pianist Cyrus Chestnut joins Cook once again, providing his impeccable support, more than keeping up with her style skipping. His organ playing is sanctified soul on " Come, Ye Disconsolate." His Fender Rhodes is swampy on "Ode to Billie Joe". Fred Wesley, Craig Harris, and Tyrone Jefferson provide an effective trombone choir on the opening "The More I See You" and "Dem Bones", though in completely different contexts. The rhythm section is superb as is the sonic perfection of this disc. In spite of all this talent, Cook remains the centerpiece, her voice a diamond-hard contralto, full of her native Detroit. This critic is more than happy that Ms. Cook released music subsequent to It's All About Love and that she was retained by the spectacular MAXJAZZ.
Track Listing: The More I See You; Like A Lover; Oh Gee; Dem Bones; Just A Sittin' And A Rockin'; Ode To Billie Joe; Someone To Light Up My Life; For The Elders; Come, Ye Disconsolate; Better Than Anything; A Lover's Lullaby (Total Time: 60:31).
Personnel: Carla Cook: Vocals; Cyrus Chestnut: Keyboards; James Genus: Bass; Fred Wesley, Craig Harris, Tyrone Jefferson: Trombone; Jeffery Haynes: Percussion.