I approached Shelley Neill's latest with very positive expectations after reading all positive reviews for her previous work ( Diaphonous Apertures, 1996; Music Sweet Music, 1999; and The Blues Run Through It, 2001). Neill is an acquired taste: in some of her performances are passable, some are pretty decent and others are irritating.
Shelley Neill, a Boston singer and teacher, has made four albums on her own Cobalt Blue label. She emphasizes a blues approach to her jazz vocals and her husky voice reminds me of the adventurous aspect of Jay Clayton and the drama of Morgana ...read more
Shelley revisits a theme that was present on her some cuts of her previous cd,"Music, Sweet Music". In doing so she pays homage to early blues singers and composers.
Her personal vision works exceeedingly well as she enlists a stellar line up of musicians to make it happen.
Dark Shadows" opens the set and gets a precise on the money feel. Laszlo Gardony and John Blake Jr. get solo honors. Mr. Blakes' violin isn't what you expect in a jazz influenced blues. He adds to the mix a light and airy tone that is engaging and stylish.
Shelley makes you ...read more
What I admire most about Shelley Neill’s Music Sweet Music is her splendid choice of material. And next to that, the enterprising rhythm section (especially pianist Laszlo Gardony). No, that doesn’t say much for the singer, but when one finds himself looking forward to the piano solos, that speaks volumes. It troubles me to appraise anyone so unkindly, as Neill is assuredly doing the best she can and probably worked hard to get where she is — but the fact is, her singing left me unmoved. I’d hoped it would be otherwise, but it wasn’t. On the other hand, given ...read more