Teri Roiger: Misterioso (2002)
Phrases such as "different", "interesting" and "ultra hip" in a review often reflects a less than a positive assessment. However, vocalist Teri Roiger's Misterioso, simply travels a uniquely compelling road than most conventional jazz vocal recordings.
The absence of a piano allows a distinctive framework of masterful support and interaction by her husband John Menegon on bass, Kenny Burrell and Jack DeJohnette, each of whom function in roles far more pervasive harmonically and melodically than most rhythm sections behind singers.
Roiger's somewhat delicate, but firmly womanly timbre, and subtle phrasing touches, while resulting in a very personal sound, evoked for this listener the spirit and perspective of Billie Holiday. That influence, in addition to the obvious tribute to Monk and Mingus is the source of the "ultra hip" description, which is consistently balanced by a very musical projection, devoid of any unpleasant interpretions.
Despite the clear jazz orientation of almost all the material, the CD interesting begins with Sting's "Fragile", which has an eerie, shifting quality that grabs and holds one's attention immediately.
"If I Should lose You", taken at faster tempo than usual, employs a variety of colors instrumentally and successfully takes a number of vocal phrasing chances.
The most engaging selection for this listener was her mood of sorrowful resignation, mixed with a resolute defiance on the ballad "That Old Devil called Love".
Above all else, the CD demonstrates the mature awareness of life and music Roiger and these three excellent musicians possess.
Track Listing: 1. Fragile 2. Listen To Your Soul 3. If I Should Lose You 4.Sunshower 5. That All Devil Called Love 6. Foolin' Myself 7. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat 8. Listen To Monk 9. Monk's Point 10. Looking Back 11. Light Of Night.
Personnel: Teri Roiger, Voice John Menegon, Bass Jack DeJohnette, Drums Kenny Burrell, Guitar