Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

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."

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Jazzizit | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
Read King Of Xhosa CD/LP/Track Review King Of Xhosa
Read Blooming Tall Phlox CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
Read "Wash My Horse In Champagne" CD/LP/Track Review Wash My Horse In Champagne
Read "Held" CD/LP/Track Review Held
Read "Eastern Smiles" CD/LP/Track Review Eastern Smiles
Read "Ignacio" CD/LP/Track Review Ignacio
Read "Billionaire Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Billionaire Blues
Read "More Than Meets The Ear" CD/LP/Track Review More Than Meets The Ear

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!