Jane Stuart: Beginning to See The Light (2007)
Stuart delivers the tunes in a strong manner, but in a way this recording is reminiscent of Norah Jones' debut album, which appealed to a wide cross-section of the vox populi. There is no scatting, just a sure-footed presentation of the songs in a pop/jazz setting. Stuart is accompanied by a fine ensemble that includes her co-producer/arranger/keyboardist, Rave Tesar, plus guitar, horns, bass, drums and percussion.
Stuart shows her jazz chops on the Jon Hendricks lyrics to Miles Davis' "Four," in which she recreates the tongue-twisting lyrics as well as the solo impressions written and sung by Hendricks, Dave Lambert and Annie Ross. Likewise, she approaches one of the most important and popular works in the Hendricks oeurve, Bobby Timmons' "Moanin'," during which the group's horns are used to good effect. Finally, the Harry "Sweets" Edison composition "Centerpiece," again with Hendricks' lyrics, features solid jazz singing.
Stuart also has the presence to resurrect a few reasonably obscure titles, such as the Newman/Gordon ballad "Through A Long And Sleepless Night," which at one time was an effective ballad presented by John Coltrane during his Prestige period.
Track Listing: I'm Beginning to See The Light; Out Of This World; Four; For All We Know; Getting To Know You; Visions; Moanin'; Through A Long And Sleepless Night; Studio Talk; I Thought About You; It Might As Well Be Spring; Angel Eyes; Centerpiece.
Personnel: Jane Stuart: vocals; Rave Tesar: keyboards; Kermit Driscoll or Sue Williams: bass; Rick De Kovessey: drums; Frank Valdez: percussion; Len Argese: guitar; Vinnie Cutro: trumpet; Frank Elmo: tenor sax; Dan Nigro: Baritone sax; Conrad Zulauf: trombone.
Record Label: Self Produced