How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Vocalist Miss Sophie Lee's Tallulah Moon is a throwback to simpler days, when a song took its own sweet time to develop and tell the story. Right from violinist Matt Rhody's intro on "Delta Bound," there is a mellow New Orleans flavor which is performed with genuineness by the accompanying musicians.
Lee has steeped herself in the traditional sounds of the Crescent City, where she is making a name for herself by singing the music from the early acoustic days of Dixieland and swing. She goes into "Swing Brother Swing" with confidence and authority, while clarinetist Bruce Brackman, trumpeter Charlie Fardella, and pianist Bart Ramsey do a fine job of setting the groove. They are also the core of the band on most of the tracks. Without a drummer, they are firmly rooted by alternating upright bassists Robert Snow and Tommy Sciple.
The original title track is a picturesque number featuring John Rodli s laidback guitar work; a dedication to Lee's Louisiana roots and the highlight of the record. "A Little Bird Told Me," and "There'll Be Some Changes Made" are given a Cajun touch by bringing in Washboard Chaz Leary to add the familiar washboard scratching that is unique to Louisiana music. The record ends with "I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues," where Glen David Andrews
' moaning trombone and St. Louis Slim's blues guitar carry the song out into the back alley, while Lee conjures up images of lost love.
Lee has found her original voice, utilizing a clear, smooth-flowing style of phrasing. She is singer who picked her musicians carefully and wisely for Tallulah Moon, the result being a pleasant mix of jazz songs brought back from obscurity and given a fresh approach, while remaining true to the soul of the music.
Track Listing: Delta Bound; Swing Brother Swing; A Little Bird Told Me; We Can't Go On This Way; Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone; Tallulah Moon; Pennies From Heaven; There'll Be Some Changes Made; Rhythm And Romance; I Gotta A Right To Sing The Blues.
Personnel: Miss Sophie Lee: vocals; Bart Ramsey: piano (all tracks) accordion (6); Washboard Chaz Leary: washboard (3, 8); St. Louis Slim: guitar (3, 8); Andy J. Forest: harmonica (3, 8); Bruce Brackman: clarinet (1, 2, 4, 9); Charlie Fardella: trumpet (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9); Matt Rhody: violin (1, 2, 4, 8); John Rodli: guitar (1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10); Robert Snow: upright bass (1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 10); Glen David Andrews: Trombone (10); Matt Bell: guitar (5, 7); Matt Johnson: guitar (5, 6, 7, 10); Tommy Sciple: upright bass (3, 5, 7, 8).