Great male and female jazz vocal duos are rare as hen's teeth. Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé? Billy Eckstine and Sarah Vaughan? Now there's a pair of new kids on the block--Ted and Gladys. Or is there? Check the sleeve of The Rhythm Of Life: Ted & Gladys and all is not quite as it seems. The dodgy photos of the musicians in their younger days--especially Gladys and guitarist Chris Allard--are a tad puzzling and the lady and gentleman on the cover photo are rather familiar. The credits make it clear--Ted and Gladys are the noms de musique of the ...read more
Two talented vocalists, top-class musicians, inspired song selections, a few new lyrics and a genuinely original set of arrangements come together to make Reunion: a fresh-sounding and charming album from Australian singers Trudy Kerr and Ingrid James. Kerr, based in London since 1990, and James have been friends for many years. Each of them has toured and recorded extensively but surprisingly, given the obvious empathy between them, this is their first recording together. Kerr and James' voices are distinctive and complementary. James--who appears in the left channel--has the slightly brighter, more crystalline, voice. Kerr, using the right ...read more
Something of a miniature epiphany this. A vocal album sufficiently musicianly, substantial and in the instrumental tradition that it could equally well be filed under mainstream. Think vocal jazz automatically equals jazz-lite? Think again.
Cloudburst is London-based Australian Kerr's fifth album and follows her fine '02 homage to Chet Baker, My Old Flame. This time she puts the Great American Songbook aside and offers fourteen hardcore jazz instrumentals, to which lyrics and/or vocalese have later been added, either by her or by earlier writers. The original composers are Coltrane, Mingus, Monk, Clifford Brown, Gerry Mulligan, Horace Silver, Mal ...read more
Always in possession of impressive technique and a powerful voice, singer Trudy Kerr brings to her third album greater assurance, more sophisticated phrasing and interpretative qualities gained through experience. She has also moved away from that Chaka Khan approach to singing which characterized earlier recordings. Despite her strong voice, she doesn't overdo it as she moves from up tempo enthusiasm to husky torch singing. Listen to That Old Black Magic" which starts out just above a whisper but throughout moves up and down the dynamics scale. The same is true for I Get along without You Very Well" as Kerr ...read more
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