163

Curtis Stigers: Baby Plays Around

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count

A unique jazz voice from the frontier.

Idaho native and Gene Harris Protégé Curtis Stigers has a voice that is the love child of Harry Connick, Jr. and Betty Carter. His delivery has a rough humor not to be taken too seriously, but serious enough for jazz art. On Baby Plays Around, Stigers basically sings the Chet Baker Songbook in a most un-Chet Baker manner. Everything is here, except "My Funny Valentine." Where Baker sings as a wounded bird, Stigers projects an "Ah Shucks", stuff-happens quality that is immediately likable. Just check out "But Not For Me," The listener might think Baker is near suicidal, while Stigers is just ready to move on. The same with "Let's Get Lost". From Baker's mouth, this song is more about sex appeal of the needle (not a bad metaphor), as opposed to Stigers flirting, carefree fun that precedes consummation.

Stigers' tenor is not half bad. He claims that when a "real" tenor man enters the room, he quickly becomes a singer, but he can certainly hold his own on the blues and ballads as evidenced by a lyrical "Parker's Mood". Which brings us to the disc centerpiece— an incandescent vocalese, "Billie's Bounce". This song is simply phenomenal. Stigers sings very fast, almost spinning from the control of that Parker blues. Stigers has been highlighted on several of the late Gene Harris's recordings, including Down Home Blues and In His Hands. His band is peppered with interesting people. Larry Goldings leaves his Hammond B-3 for the piano and Randy Brecker shows up with his round trumpet tone. The rhythm section is divided, with both sets performing admirably.

Stigers' debut as a leader on Concord Jazz is a welcome one. This is the best jazz vocal disc I have heard this year.

Track Listing: But Not For Me; Baby Plays Around; Centerpiece; Marie; Let's Get Lost; Love; Billie's Bounce; Everything Happens To Me; Parker's Mood; All The Things You Are; I Keep Going Back To Joe's; All Of You; You Are Too Beautiful. (Total Time: 53:01)

Personnel: Curtis Stigers: Vocals, Tenor Saxophone; Larry Goldings: Piano; Randy Brecker: Trumpet; Denis Irwin: Bass; Chris Minh Doky: Bass; Bill Stewart: Drums; Adam Nussbaum: Drums.

| Record Label: Concord Music Group | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Empty The Headbin" CD/LP/Track Review Empty The Headbin
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 15, 2016
Read "The Magical Forest" CD/LP/Track Review The Magical Forest
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "Blue And Lonesome" CD/LP/Track Review Blue And Lonesome
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 9, 2016
Read "Pasar Klewer" CD/LP/Track Review Pasar Klewer
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Furiously Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review Furiously Dreaming
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Live At The Troubadour 1969" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Troubadour 1969
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 14, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!