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The Uptown Jazz Collective: She Do What She Do (2011)

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The Uptown Jazz Collective: She Do What She Do How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

She Do What She Do is hard to pin down. While continuity is created through solid performances from the rhythm section, and bluesy baritone saxophonist B.J. Jansen
B.J. Jansen
B.J. Jansen
b.1981
sax, baritone
, the material and stylistic presentation is all over the map.

The most palatable selections come in the form of standards, as delivered by vocalist t.c. III. His style comes straight out of the Eddie Jefferson
Eddie Jefferson
Eddie Jefferson
1918 - 1979
vocalist
school of singing and, while an occasional tendency to warble or yodel can get in the way of the music, these are rare occurrences. He delivers pleasing vocalese ("Moanin") just as well as ballads ("Yesterdays"), proving his mettle time and again with some sophisticated, if occasionally over the top, scat soloing.

The non-standard material, making up two-thirds of the album, is a bit more puzzling. A near-three minute interview/discussion about roots ("Real Talk") kills the musical programming-momentum; the 21-second album introduction—taken from the opening of "Latin"—isn't really necessary; and an alternate take on the title track seems like a last minute entry to help fill out the album. The other tracks, while equally diverse, actually help to show the group's full breadth and depth. The collective tackles spirituality ("Psalm 150"), generic blues in a Joe Williams
Joe Williams
Joe Williams
1918 - 1999
vocalist
vein ("She Do What She Do"), and spoken word—of the Beat poetry-meets-Def Poetry Jam variety—over an easy-to-digest funk background ("Latin").

The album is dedicated to a long list of recently departed jazz greats, including saxophonist James Moody
James Moody
James Moody
1925 - 2010
reeds
, pianist-educator-jazz advocate Dr. Billy Taylor
Billy Taylor
Billy Taylor
1921 - 2010
piano
, vocalist Abbey Lincoln
Abbey Lincoln
Abbey Lincoln
1930 - 2010
vocalist
and T.C. III's mother, Philadelphia organ legend Trudy Pitts
Trudy Pitts
Trudy Pitts
1932 - 2010
organ, Hammond B3
, making the inclusion of her "Psalm 150" a poignant statement. T.C. III's voice soars over the stable rhythm section work on this performance, and Floyd Davis delivers a passionate, spoken word sermon that stirs emotions and heats things up during this ten-minute spiritual sojourn.

While The Uptown Jazz Collective has plenty of great music to present, and clearly believes in the philosophy that variety is the spice of life, too much spice can occasionally cover up the natural flavors within the music. Still, She Do What She Do is a fine program of music that hints at great potential for development, and future success for The Uptown Jazz Collective.


Track Listing: Intro; Psalm 150; Moanin'; Dear Old Stockholm; She Do What She Do; Yesterdays; Real Talk; Latin; She Do What She Do (Alt. Take).

Personnel: T.C. III: vocals; Floyd Davis: spoken word (2, 7, 8); B.J. Jansen: baritone saxophone; Marcus Persiani: piano, Fender Rhodes; Mike Boone: bass (1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9); Jonah Jonathan: bass (3, 4); Kenneth Salters: drums (3, 4); Emanuel Harrold: drums (1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9).

Record Label: Self Produced


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