Carolyn Graye with Jessica Williams: Songs (2003)
While the vocalist’s mezzo-soprano instrument is not incredibly beautiful or powerful or showy (think: American Idol), it is controlled, consistently in tune and capable of great moments, such as the warm, focused vibrato that propels the final chorus of “That’s All.” Rather than drown a song with flash and embellishments as younger, less experienced singers are apt to do, Graye trusts the lyric, piano and voice to create music greater than the some of its parts.
It’s my guess that Williams – as dominant a force as can be found in modern jazz, and one who rarely assumes the role of accompanist – appreciates the subtleties in Graye’s approach. Rather than battle for superiority, the duo run through Songs on equal footing, resolved to journey where the music takes them.
Visit Carolyn Graye on the web.
This review first appeared in All About Jazz: Seattle .
Track Listing: 1. That
Personnel: Carolyn Graye: voice, Jessica Williams: piano.
Record Label: OA2 Records