211

Bull Fonda Duo: Cup of Joe, No Bull

By

Sign in to view read count
This is the third Katie Bull album that I've heard, and her work is very consistent. The New York-based singer divides her time between traditional jazz vocals and outside vocal excursions. This is the sparest of the sessions in that it is a duo recording of just voice and acoustic bass, without the added cushion of piano and drums. According to the liner notes, Katie Bull's partner, bassist Joe Fonda, is a like-minded soulmate who shares the same sense of improvisation and exploration. Fonda was present on the previous Bull albums and worked in the recent past with avant-garde musicians like Anthony Braxton.

One could generalize by saying that the eight standards on the album are taken in a mainstream fashion while the five Bull originals are employed as free jazz vocals. Katie Bull's direct approach on such tunes as "I Could Have Danced All Night," "When I Fall in Love," and "Since I Fell For You" is really quite good. "Bluebird of Happiness," a favorite of Betty Carter, is given a similar reading. "Midnight Sun" is taken way up-tempo much as a tenor saxophonist might perform it to close the first set.

I've noted in the past that Katie Bull seems most influenced by the style of Sheila Jordan, and that is indeed still present. On her originals, beginning with "Love Spook" (also the title of her last album), the quirky lyrics serve as a springboard for her imagination, which seems matched by Fonda's accompaniment and solos. "Monkey Business," styled as a children's song, offers an opportunity to take the music out a bit further.


Track Listing: I Could Have Danced All Night; Love Spook; Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars; Shortcut Blues; I'm Old Fashioned; Monkey Business; Bluebird of Happiness; When You Say You Will; When I Fall In Love; Midnight Sun; Speak Louder; Since I Fell For You; Wonderful World.

Personnel: Katie Bull: vocals; Joe Fonda: bass.

Title: Cup of Joe, No Bull | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Corn Hill Indie


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Incidentals" CD/LP/Track Review Incidentals
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "The Django Experiment I & II" CD/LP/Track Review The Django Experiment I & II
by Peter Jurew
Published: April 2, 2017
Read "To the Bone" CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.