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Seattle-based vocalist/composer/arranger Eugenie Jones didn't start out as such. A business and marketing major in college, Jones graduated and went on to be a business owner, consultant and all-around marketing roustabout. But life is never so simple and after her mother's death, Jones decided that it was time to pursue music as a vocation. On her debut Black Lace Blue Tears Jones flexes all of her creative muscles assembling nine originals and interpreting two standards, all at a high level.
Jones taps the talent pool of the Seattle area for her support, snaring pianist Bill Anschell, bassist Clipper Anderson, drummer Mark Ivester and guitarist Michael Powers (all ubiquitous at Origin Arts). How she avoided the gravitational pull of the label is a modern marvel. That said, Jones proves she can compose in any vocal idiom infused with jazz, as shown on the Bacharach/David-tinged "A Good Day" or the Stevie Wonder-inspired "Can You Dance." "All The Kings Men" possesses an "Angel Eyes" quality, minor key and smoky, while the title cut reflects Linda Ronstadt. Clipper Anderson's deft bass seamlessly transforms the traditional jazz orientation into a crossover mode where nothing is lost in the translation.
Jones' interpretation of Paul Desmond's "Take Five" uses the lyrics written by Dave and Iola Brubeck. She removes the odd meter element, smoothing the piece with a warm and liquid delivery. "My Funny Valentine" holds up well to her interpretation, surely the trillionth performance of such. Jones is both daring and naive to cover the time honored ballad, but capably pulls it off because of her sheer and fearless talent. It is difficult to hear Black Lace Blue Tears as a debut recording because of its refinement. It should be interesting to see how Jones develops from here.
Track Listing: A Good Day; Can You Dance?; Take Five; All The Kings’s Men; So Hard To
Find; Black Lace Blue Tears; Perfect; I Want One; In A Shot Of Tequila
Or Two; My Funny Valentine; Sat’day Night Blues.
Personnel: Eugenie Jones: vocals; Bill Anschell: piano; Clipper Anderson: bass;
Mark Ivester: drums; Michael Powers: guitar.
Jazz is a creative explosion of individual freedom and communication.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a kid. My father had a music store.
The best live performance I ever attended was Kenny Garrett in Harlem, New York.
The first jazz record I bought was Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
My advice to new listeners is keep listening!