Jackie Cain & Roy Kral: Echoes (2007)
Recorded live in September, 1976 at Howard Rumsey's Concerts by the Sea in Redondo Beach, California, Echoes captures a jazz vocals performance by the husband and wife team of Jackie Cain and Roy Kral. Unfortunately, Kral passed away in 2002, making the release of this never-before-issued album the first for Cain since Kral's death.
The singing duo brings along three fine musicians from San Francisco, forming the quintet that played the gig at Rumsey's room. The players included Red Norvo's former bassist John Mosher, drummer Gary Nash and vibraphonist Brian Atkinson.
With a repertoire of primarily standards, and songs that became tributes to the films of Humphrey Bogart, Jackie and Roy sing with the same warmth and charm that made them a delight to hear since the 1950s. The movie songs include Hoagy Carmichael/Johnny Mercer's "How Little We Know (from To Have and Have Not), featuring the best few bars of instrumentals from the band and "The Fat Man, a tribute to Bogart's counterpart, Sidney Greenstreet, written by Kral and Fran Landesman.
Corcovado, and "Samba do Aviao, are a couple of Antonio Carlo Jobim classics given new treatments by the duo. Cain weighs in with lyrics on bassist Harvie Swartz's "Winter Comes. Acknowledging the pop-rock sounds of the 1960s and 1970s, they also include the Billy Joel standout "New York State of Mind.
There are also a couple of Alec Wilder compositions that merit mention. "Walk Pretty and the lovely ballad "The Echoes of My Life are songs one has to hear to appreciate. A statement that can actually be applied to this entire re-mastered quality session from two jazz greats performing on perhaps the last remembrance of this dynamic duo together that we may ever have.
Track Listing: I Wonder What's the Matter with Me; Corcovado; Mountain Greenery; It's So Peaceful in the Country; Walk Pretty; Sweet Surrender; The Fat Man; How Little We Know; The Way We Are; The Echoes of My Life; Samba do Aviao; Winter Comes; The Runaround; Wheelers and Dealers; New York State of Mind.
Personnel: Jackie Cain: vocals; Roy Kral: piano, vocals; John Mosher: bass; Gary Nash: drums; Brian Atkinson: vibes.