Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

294

Sathima Bea Benjamin: A Morning in Paris

By

Sign in to view read count
This recording belongs alongside the famous Reprise recording of Duke Ellington Presents the Dollar Brand Trio (Warner Bros., 1963)—now Abdullah Ibrahim. It comes from the same period and introduced the world to Ibrahim's then girlfriend, Beattie Benjamin (now Sathima Bea Benjamin). Actually, Benjamin heard Ellington in Zurich and convinced him to come hear Brand perform. Ellington also insisted that Benjamin sing for him, and the subsequent recordings were thought to be lost until relatively recently.

Benjamin is a master of bittersweet balladry and it infuses all of the stunning standards she sings on this, her earliest recording. The singing is sultry and stylized and almost painfully romantic. Ellington produces and plays piano on his classics "I Got it Bad... and "Solitude, and listen also for the pizzicato violin of the great, underrated Dane, Svend Asmussen. This is the voice of a young girl in the presence of masters and the surprise is that she never seems cowed by the giants. The reverb, odd at first, accents the quiet feelings of these songs.

On "Your Love Has Faded and "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square the pianist is Billy Strayhorn. He penned the former and the reading is poignant, as Benjamin's intimate and personal reading of the lyrics tells the sad story. Once again, the sound of the violin is a touching complement. The kind of melancholy expressed in these songs is universal; witness how the "English tale of the "Nightingale hits home in Benjamin's piercing rendition. On "I'm Glad There is You," Ibrahim is the pianist and he quietly underscores how even a somewhat "happy" song is colored "blue" by the Benjamin's no-nonsense reading.

Benjamin sings these songs as if for the first time and without frills or other mannerisms overused by vocalists. She is and has always been her own person.

Track Listing: Darn That Dream: I Got it Bad (And That Ain't Good); I Could Write a Book; I Should Care; Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year; Solitude; The Man I Love; Your Love Has Faded; I'm Glad There is You; Soon; Lover Man; A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.

Personnel: Sathima Bea Benjamin: vocals; Duke Ellington: piano; Billy Strayhorn: piano; Abdullah Ibrahim: piano; Svend Asmussen: pizzicato violin; Johnny Gertze: bass; Makaya Ntshoko: drums.

Title: A Morning in Paris | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Ekapa


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Southern Avenue" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Avenue
by James Nadal
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Change Of Address" CD/LP/Track Review Change Of Address
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 6, 2017
Read "Astrometrics" CD/LP/Track Review Astrometrics
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 13, 2017
Read "In Praise of Shadows" CD/LP/Track Review In Praise of Shadows
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Duality: Particles & Waves" CD/LP/Track Review Duality: Particles & Waves
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 16, 2017
Read "Storm" CD/LP/Track Review Storm
by Jim Olin
Published: September 17, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!