Ann Hampton Calloway: Blues In The Night (2006)
Blues In The Night, a program of blues and blues-oriented material, features mostly familiar standards with a few originals written by vocalist Ann Hampton Callaway, who also is responsible for some of the arrangements. Her accompanists on most of the album consist of Ted Rosenthal (piano), Christian McBride (bass) and Lewis Nash (drums), augmented on some tracks by Anat Cohen (tenor sax), David Gilmore (guitar) and Jami Dauber (trumpet). Four tunes feature Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra, with whom Callaway has performed on occasion.
Though this is familiar material, the musicians approach most pieces in a different manner. Rodgers and Hart's "Blue Moon is done as a blues, and Cole Porter's "It's All Right With Me is taken at an unusually slow tempo. Also in the mix is Calloway's sensitive reading of the not-done-often-enough "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most. But the most interesting experiment is her medley of "Stormy Weather and "When The Sun Comes Out, where she sings with her sister Liz, each voice an octave apartthe intervallic difference creating two distinctly sounding voices.
The tracks with Diva allow Callaway to do some belting and wailing, as on "Blues In The Night or a very up-tempo version of "Lover Come Back To Me, where the band really swings behind her.
In a performance at Dizzy's Club last month, Callaway presented some of the songs from the CD, accompanied by Rosenthal, bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Victor Lewis. Always looking for interesting treatments of venerable standards, she rendered a samba treatment of Porter's "Just One Of Those Things as well as a slow version of his "It's Alright With Me. She performed one of her originals, "Hip To Be Happy, playfully, with Jay Leonhart contributing a second voice and scatting with his bass; she also belted out "Come Rain Or Come Shine to the delight of the audience. The set ended in fun with Callaway and Leonhart composing a spur-of-the-moment song on the subject of the fall season.
Track Listing: Swingin' Away The Blues; Blue Moon; Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most; Lover Come Back To Me; Stormy Weather/When The Sun Comes Out; The I'm Too White To Sing The Blues Blues; Willow Weep For Me; Hip To Be Happy; It's All Right With Me; No One Is Alone; Blues In The Night; The Glory of Love.
Personnel: Ted Rosenthal: piano; Christian McBride: bass; Lewis Nash: drums (2,3,5,7-10,12); Sherrie Maricle and the Diva Jazz Orchestra (1,4,6,11); Anat Cohen: tenor saxophone (2,3,10); David Gilmore: guitar (2,5,12); Jami Dauber (3,10).