Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

4

Redmond-Langosch-Cooley: Compared to What

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
In 2003, after I heard Mary Ann Redmond's astonishing voice for the first time, we did an interview here called "On the Verge."

Well, she's still on that verge—at least everywhere outside of the Washington, D.C. area, where she lives. With just a handful of albums to her name, Redmond has won an astounding total of 22 Wammies (Washington Area Music Awards) in the jazz, pop, rock, blues, traditional R&B, and urban contemporary categories. The common denominator is the soulful power of her voice: it's safe to say that there's nothing like it in jazz.

Compared to What contains Redmond's most explicit jazz instrumentation to date. Produced by bassist Paul Langosch, who toured with Tony Bennett for 20 years, and arranged by keyboardist Jay Cooley, who's played with Phil Woods and Ernestine Anderson, it begins with a classic trio take on "Come Rain or Come Shine" that features a tasty tenor solo by Bruce Swaim. Langosch and Cooley are part of Swain's ongoing quartet, which helps explain the smooth camaraderie of their playing; they get fine rhythmic support from British drummer Dave Mattacks, who has recorded with Spyro Gyra, among many others.

But whatever genre she's exploring, Redmond's full-hearted interpretations distill every song into something unique and memorable. She swings just as hard on the blues anthem "Never Make Your Move Too Soon" as she does on Stevie Wonder's "Creepin'" and Joni Mitchell's "Coyote"; on Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar" she gets down and dirty with the help of Dan Hovey's sexy electric guitar.

Other highlights: Redmond's take on the jubilant title tune, which finally clarifies Les McCann's classic 1971 vocal (you can love his version without fully understanding it); the sinuous Latin twist to Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love"; and the surprise ending of "I Got It Bad" which discards the standard chick-singer drama to underscore the song's quiet, underlying dejection. It's also worth noting that "Love Me Anyway," the haunting closing track, has earned her Song of the Year and Best Songwriter honors (with Todd Wright), and has also been covered by Celine Dion, in French.

When music consumers download their favorite titles from a record, it's easy to ignore the rest of the tracks. Although such technology frees artists to be more eclectic, it can also obscure the full range of their musicality. Given what Compared to What reveals about Redmond's bold versatility and sparkling talent, it would be a real shame not to enjoy the whole ride.

Track Listing: Come Rain or Come Shine; Dance Me to the End of Love; Compared to What; Storm is Coming; Never Make Your Move Too Soon; Creepin’; I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good; Coyote; Ain’t That Peculiar; What’ll I Do; Fool on the Hill; Love Me Anyway.

Personnel: Mary Ann Redmond: voice, guitar; Paul Langosch: bass; Jay Cooley: keys; Dave Mattacks: drums, percussion; Dan Hovey: guitar; Bruce Swaim: tenor sax; John Jenson: trombone; Tim Stankey: trumpet.

Title: Compared to What | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Rain or Shine CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Copenhagen Live 1964 CD/LP/Track Review Copenhagen Live 1964
by John Sharpe
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Somewhere Glimmer CD/LP/Track Review Somewhere Glimmer
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read Lattice CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by John Sharpe
Published: December 14, 2017
Read I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert CD/LP/Track Review I Think I’m Going To Eat Dessert
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2017
Read "Up and Coming" CD/LP/Track Review Up and Coming
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "On Parade In Parede" CD/LP/Track Review On Parade In Parede
by John Sharpe
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Nellie Bly Project" CD/LP/Track Review Nellie Bly Project
by Paul Rauch
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Tag Book" CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017

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!