Carla Cook follows up her Grammy-nominated It's all About Love with a slightly funkier fair...but only after some mainstream flirtations.
Carla Cook's 1999 It's All About Love was one of the inaugural releases of the then fledgling MAXJAZZ label. It was honored with a Grammy® nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Performance. It was an eclectic and ingenious collection of tunes from all corners of the genre spectrum. This year's Dem Bones is no exception to the precedent she set with her last recording. She peppers this offering with the mainstream ("The More I See You", "Like a Lover"), the swinging ("Oh Gee", "Just A Sittin' Here Rockin'"), and the down-right funky ("Dem Bones", "Ode to Billie Joe").
Pianist Cyrus Chestnut joins Cook once again, providing his impeccable support, more than keeping up with her style skipping. His organ playing is sanctified soul on " Come, Ye Disconsolate." His Fender Rhodes is swampy on "Ode to Billie Joe". Fred Wesley, Craig Harris, and Tyrone Jefferson provide an effective trombone choir on the opening "The More I See You" and "Dem Bones", though in completely different contexts. The rhythm section is superb as is the sonic perfection of this disc. In spite of all this talent, Cook remains the centerpiece, her voice a diamond-hard contralto, full of her native Detroit. This critic is more than happy that Ms. Cook released music subsequent to It's All About Love and that she was retained by the spectacular MAXJAZZ.
Track Listing: The More I See You; Like A Lover; Oh Gee; Dem Bones; Just A Sittin' And A Rockin'; Ode To Billie Joe; Someone To Light Up My Life; For The Elders; Come, Ye Disconsolate; Better Than Anything; A Lover's Lullaby (Total Time: 60:31).
Personnel: Carla Cook: Vocals; Cyrus Chestnut: Keyboards; James Genus: Bass; Fred Wesley, Craig Harris, Tyrone Jefferson: Trombone; Jeffery Haynes: Percussion.
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me
I was first exposed to jazz as a baby. When I was a child, my parents regularly played classic jazz, i.e., Fitzgerald, Hawkins, Holiday, Davis, Coltrane, Monk, Montgomery, Silver, etc. I vividly remember sitting in front of the stereo as a kid, rocking back and forth to jazz, so the music is embedded in me. As a life-long jazz lover, I eventually became a jazz educator and producer/host of a very popular jazz radio program in Los Angeles, California.
I love jazz because it is so free. I can think, feel, and dream to jazz, and it allows my mind to flow and expand, musically and otherwise. I also love jazz because it, much like other forms of music, allows opportunities to bring people from all walks of life together. What makes jazz more significant to me, though, is its historical significance; that is, how jazz served, in part, as a method of bringing communities together, a cultural/social/spiritual conduit.