Roz Corral: Telling Tales (2005)
Arranger, singer, and musicians alike rarely give such attention to lyrics. This is the beauty of Telling Tales. The album tells a sort of musical story that is richly illustrated and comes full-circle emotionallyup, down, around, and finishing upbeat again. The icing on the cake is Roz Corral's voice; with distinctive timbre that isn't too much, and a delivery that's right-on with each and every note.
Arranger/pianist Bruce Barth has given his all-star ensemble definitive bop and post-bop charts which swing their way from a modern, fast-paced take on Frishberg's "Wheelers and Dealers to an appropriately slower version of the Rodgers and Hart chestnut "Little Girl Blue." "Let's Face the Music and Dance, an almost ominous-sounding arrangement evoking the urgency of the lyrics, exploits the clarinet skills of Steve Wilson and the delicious, buttery trombone of Steve Davis. Davis also rises to the forefront on the aforementioned "Wheelers and Dealers.
Great American Songbook purists may find the inclusion of two of these tunes, "Anyone Can Whistle and "I've Got No Strings, inappropriate and childlike. But Corral keeps these pieces from being cloyingly sweet by plying her talents at inflection and phrasing.
"Out of This World is truly that. With a modernist, nearly progressive sensibility, Corral excitesand she and the combo virtually vibrate, again musically connecting well with the lyrics. Guitarist John Hart sprinkles the scores with subtle, sparkling subliminal notes that complement timekeeper Jeff Ballard and the discreet bass of Larry Grenadier. Hart's given a chance to display his pyrotechnics on "I'll Never Be The Same.
Telling Tales does just what it says, and then some.
Track Listing: 1. Too Close For Comfort; 2. Wheelers and Dealers; 3. Little Girl Blue; 4. I'll Never Be The Same; 5. Anyone Can Whistle; 6. Let's Face The Music And Dance; 7. I've Got No Strings; 8. Change Partners; 9. Out Of This World; 10. Say It Isn't So; 11. Something's Gotta Give.
Personnel: Roz Corral, vocals; Bruce Barth, piano; Larry Grenadier, bass; Jeff Ballard, drums; John Hart, guitar; Steve Wilson, alto saxophone and clarinet; Steve Davis, trombone. Co-produced by Roz Corral & Bruce Barth.
Record Label: Blujazz Productions