Deidre Rodman: Simple Stories (2003)
On "Garden Suite breeze, stroll, stars" a delicate air of mystery is conjured up by Rodman and Tony Malaby on soprano sax in the intro, and the mood prevails until around three minutes into the piece, when the music becomes more grounded and the listener's attention starts to wander, not because of attention deficiency, but because the music outstays its welcome.
"The incomparable Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza" – to quote from the press release – makes no lasting impression for all of her supposed incomparability. Her singing is in a tradition of slightly bland, slightly folky, slightly New Age (remember that?) vocalists, and here she sings slightly earnestly of street vendors calling, verdant boughs, and a pure and reaching song. After a while her efforts become slightly irritating.
When for all of its accomplishment music adds up to very little, like here, then saying so can seem unkind. But in this case – and far from unique! – honesty is the best policy, and in all honesty the music here is so damn buttoned up that any self-taught music therapist would recommend a dose of Fred McDowell to cure the torpor prolonged exposure to it can surely cause.
Track Listing: 1. Prelude 2. Girl With Ponytails 3. Cobblestone 4. Bodhi 5. Duo 6. Garden Suite breeze, stroll, stars 7. Sleeping Ground 8. Solo 9. Pure One 10. Simple Stories
Personnel: Deidre Rodman, Piano, Melodica, Vocals on 9 and 10; Russ Johnson, Trumpet; Tony Malaby, Saxophones; Bob Bowen, Bass; Mark Ferber, Drums; Luciana Souza, Vocals on 3, 7, and 10; The Neighbourhood School Children's Choir appear on 1 and 10.
Record Label: Sunnyside Records
Style: Modern Jazz