Various Artists: Jazzvox Presents: In Your Own Backyard (2011)
The gender demographics reflect the recorded literature: an overwhelming majority of female participants (seven) versus male (two). The vocal styles included on this disc all share in common a reverent adherence to the original melody. The repertoire is all over the map, from jazz standards like Kelley Johnson's version of Thelonious Monk's "Blue Monk," with guitarist Keith Ganz, to Fats Waller's pre-swing era "Honeysuckle Rose," from Anschell and Jo Lawry.
There is plenty of scat singing, with Kathleen Grace's "Moon River" and John Proulx's "Please Don't Bug Me" being standouts. The most effective pairings here are Hanna Richardson with pianist Patti Wicks ("Back in Your Own Back Yard" and "These Foolish Things") and John Proulx and Chuck Kistler ("Please Don't Bug Me" and "Welcome To My World").
The presence of Wicks, a fine pianist to be sure, is why she did not also sing (Proulx accompanies himself on piano). Hers is a one-of-a- kind voice. Anderson, the provocateur, appears with Wicks on a bouncing "Time After Time." His voice as sweet as Proulx's at a lower register. Wicks solos with the most brio on the disc, keeping a bit of stride moving things along. Lawry closes the disc with a most inventive trio-led "But Not For Me," accompanied by Anschell and accordionist David Lange.
In Your Own Backyard is the second vocals collection released by Origin Arts after Redefinition by Jeff Baker's Vocal Jazz Collective. It looks like they're onto something.
Track Listing: Moon River; Comes Love; Please Don't Bug Me; Blue Monk; I'm Old Fashioned; Back In Your Own Backyard; All My Tomorrows; The Cat; You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me; Honeysuckle Rose; 4:52 Welcome To My World; 5:16 If Ever I Would Leave You; Triste; Perdido; Time After Time; These Foolish Things; But Not For Me.
Personnel: Kathleen Grace: vocals; Darin Clendenin: piano (1, 12); Kristin Korb: vocals; Randy Halberstadt: piano (2, 9); John Proulx: John Proux: vocals, piano; Chuck Kistler: bass (3, 11); Kelley Johnson: vocals; Keith Ganz: guitar (4, 13); Jo Lawry: vocals; Bill Anschell: piano (5, 17); Hanna Richardson: vocals; Patti Wicks: piano (6, 16); Stephanie Nakasian: vocals; Bill Anschell: piano (7, 14); Cathy Segal-Garcia: vocals; John Stowell: guitar (8); Nich Anderson: vocals; Patti Wicks: piano (15); David Lange: accordion (17).
Record Label: OA2 Records