159

Trudy Kerr: Cloudburst

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Trudy Kerr: Cloudburst Something of a miniature epiphany this. A vocal album sufficiently musicianly, substantial and in the instrumental tradition that it could equally well be filed under mainstream. Think vocal jazz automatically equals jazz-lite? Think again.

Cloudburst is London-based Australian Kerr's fifth album and follows her fine '02 homage to Chet Baker, My Old Flame. This time she puts the Great American Songbook aside and offers fourteen hardcore jazz instrumentals, to which lyrics and/or vocalese have later been added, either by her or by earlier writers. The original composers are Coltrane, Mingus, Monk, Clifford Brown, Gerry Mulligan, Horace Silver, Mal Waldron, Tadd Dameron, Bill Evans, Lerov Kirkland & Jimmy Harris, Duke Pearson, Antonio Jobim, Ennio Morricone, and Freddie Hubbard. To say Kerr does justice to these guys—which she does—is really to say something. The arrangements are unfussy, and wholly unsweetened, and Kerr's warm and sensuous voice, particularly effective in the midrange, delivers straightforward and engaging readings.

Key to the album's success is Kerr's band, a half dozen of London's finest, who're given plenty of space in which to stretch out and improvise. Dick Pearce (trumpet) and Derek Nash (baritone saxophone) return from My Old Flame, joined by Alan Skidmore (tenor saxophone), Tom Cawley (piano)—perhaps best known right now as keyboards player with thrash jazz uber-iconoclasts Acoustic Ladyland—Sam Burgess (bass), and Steve Brown (drums).

Tom Cawley's playing here will be a revelation to anyone who only knows him from his Acoustic Ladyland incarnation. Eight of the tracks are just Kerr and piano trio, and Cawley's fleet and glowing solos, out of Bud Powell, Al Haig, and Horace Silver, but fresh with it, are riveting. Skidmore, Nash, and Pearce shine as bright as you'd expect. Nash is compelling on Mulligan's "Bunny," here retitled "Rabbit," and Waldron's "Left Alone," as is Skidmore on Coltrane's "Moment's Notice," here retitled "Lady Luck," and Mingus' "Weird Nightmare." Pearce's dueting with Kerr on Dameron's "On A Misty Night" is exquisite. Burgess and Brown each get a couple of solos, with Brown particularly strong on Silver's "Come On Home," developing a series of snare drum press-rolls of barely restrained ferocity.

So, a vocal album for people who don't usually like vocal albums. Kerr is 100% real jazz musician, and Cloudburst is 100% real jazz. Things are looking up.

Visit Trudy Kerr on the web.


Track Listing: Joy Spring; Cloudburst; The Rabbit; Lady Luck; Weird Nightmare; Funk Evans; Somewhere In The Hills; Ruby My Dear; Come On Home; Jeanine; Left Alone; On A Misty Night/September In The Rain; Cinema Paradiso/That Day; Up Jumped Spring.

Personnel: Trudy Kerr, vocals; Tom Cawley, piano; Sam Burgess, bass; Steve Brown, drums. Dick Pearce, trumpet, Alan Skidmore, tenor saxophone, Derek Nash, baritone saxophone on "The Rabbit," "Lady Luck," "Weird Nightmare," "Jeanine," "Left Alone," and "On A Misty Night/September In The Rain."

Title: Cloudburst | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Jazzizit


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall) CD/LP/Track Review Inspirations (featuring Matthew Halsall)
by Phil Barnes
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Fierce Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Fierce Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 4, 2016
Read "Satin Doll – A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn" CD/LP/Track Review Satin Doll – A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 23, 2017
Read "Punch" CD/LP/Track Review Punch
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "Blue Skylight" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Skylight
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Seaside" CD/LP/Track Review Seaside
by John Eyles
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Alpha Centauri" CD/LP/Track Review Alpha Centauri
by Mark F. Turner
Published: July 4, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.