Diane Witherspoon: LA After Dark (2004)
LA After Darkis a collaboration between Ms. Witherspoon and lyricists John and Paula Hackett (as on her previous recordings), who have spent the last several years writing lyrics to some of the lesser known "jazz standards" in the repertoire, almost all exclusively for Ms. Witherspoon. This disc highlights several of Witherspoon’s creative musical relationships. The disc opens with the Teddy Edwards composition, "Teddy’s LA After Dark," to which the Hacketts penned lyrics. The same occurred Edwards’ sensual blockbuster "Our Night of Love" and Harry Edison’s "Sweet Sounds of the Night." Ms. Witherspoon and the Hacketts acknowledge the singer’s relationship with Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson with two songs: the bebop "Eddie’s Clean Machine" and the bluesy "Love’s Disguise."
Max Roach requested that the Hacketts compose lyrics for bassist Tyrone Brown’s "Tradition," on which the bassist performs. The result is a sumptuous ballad, complete with Rudi Wongozi playing his best Tommy Flanagan, while the singer tips her hat to Mingus and Duke and Miles. Ms. Witherspoon’s own "Music Brings You Back" echoes Van Morrison’s "Moondance" with its bounce and grace.
The Witherspoon-Hackett collaboration is one that I hope will continue and grow. This recording is something new and exciting finally bobbing to the surface... and not a minute too soon.
Track Listing: Teddy
Personnel: Diane Witherspoon