4

Redmond-Langosch-Cooley: Compared to What

Dr. Judith Schlesinger By

Sign in to view read count
Redmond-Langosch-Cooley: Compared to What 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.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Vocal


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

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 June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Perch Hen Brock & Rain/Live @ The Jazz Happening Tampere" CD/LP/Track Review Perch Hen Brock & Rain/Live @ The Jazz Happening Tampere
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Supernovae" CD/LP/Track Review Supernovae
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Between Brothers" CD/LP/Track Review Between Brothers
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 29, 2016
Read "Atticus Live!" CD/LP/Track Review Atticus Live!
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 2, 2016
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Amiira" CD/LP/Track Review Amiira
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 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!