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 The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "All These Hands" CD/LP/Track Review All These Hands
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Heartaches By The Number" CD/LP/Track Review Heartaches By The Number
by James Nadal
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Rising Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Rising Grace
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "I Just Did Say Something" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Did Say Something
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Etchings in Amber" CD/LP/Track Review Etchings in Amber
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "Rise Of Orion" CD/LP/Track Review Rise Of Orion
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 1, 2016

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!

Buy it!