This album earned Kate Hammett-Vaughan a nomination for the Juno Award as Canada's best vocal jazz singer of the year. It is well-deserved recognition not only for the exciting vocal presentations, but also for the instrumentalists on the session. They work hand in glove with Hammett-Vaughan for almost an hour of artistic playing. Don't let the play list fool you. This is not another one of those albums routinely offering classic standards. Nothing is routine with this album. "Alone Together" opens with an off center Hammett-Vaughan chorus, then the musicians take over for a boppish excursion. Jim Pinchin on sax and Chris Gestrin on piano approach the bop small groups of the 1960's. The singer returns taking pleasant liberties with the melody line. Hammett-Vaughan's view of Monk's "Monk's Dream" recalls Jon Hendricks' Vocalese treatment of this classic.
But not everything is grounded in the Bop mode. Forget about other renditions of Bobby Troup's "The Meaning of the Blues". Hammett-Vaughan's soulful interpretation is dirge like and a Pinchin soulful sax supports her position. But it's the modern, closing in on avant-garde, that prevails. The Duke Ellington/Peggy Lee standby, "I'm Gonna Go Fishin'". is treated like it was a modern classical composition by John Cage or Arnold Schoenberg. The way Hammett-Vaughan presents the lyrics recalls those poetry with jazz sessions of the Alan Ginsberg days. This fishing trip is not a pleasant, relaxed summer outing, but an adventure akin to climbing Mount Everest. Hammett-Vaughan's way with "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" would be downright incestuous if "Daddy" in the song was her biological father.
For those who are looking for truly different and legitimately innovative expositions of familiar music, this album is for you. It's also for those whose musical ears are in need of significant cleaning. Recommended. Visit Kate at her Internet home, http:// vancouverjazz. com/kate/index.shtml.
Personnel: Kate Hammett-Vaughan - Vocals; Chris Gestrin - Piano; Jim Pinchin - Saxes; Andr