164

The Williams/Roberti/White Trio: Driving At Night

By

Sign in to view read count
The Williams/Roberti/White Trio: Driving At Night The hour is late and the lights are low for the last set at the Zanzibar Lounge and you're there to take in the Williams/Roberti/White Trio. This studio session from 2002 may well have approximated such an event. The trio consists of a female vocalist with guitar and bass living in the vicinity of Bozeman, Montana. M.J. Williams also plays trombone but is strictly a singer in this setting with Kelly Roberti on bass and Ben White, a former classical guitarist.

Most of this album consists of a series of late-night ballads smokily performed by the group. They open with Frank Loesser's "I've Never Been in Love Before," from Guys and Dolls, and then the early 1950s ballad "The Nearness of You." Williams uses a fine sense of vocal jazz shading and texture while still adhering to the beautiful melody lines. Benny Carter's "Only Trust Your Heart," almost always done up as in bossa nova tempo, is here slowed down to an eleven minute love song and "Bye-Bye Blackbird" is, likewise, taken down for a slow ride through the countryside with a scatted ending. The standard "Alone Together" receives a similar treatment.

At this point, I would have accepted, positively, the ambiance generated by these cool, noirish ballads. However the final three tracks offered some surprises. "Driving at Dawn" and "Driving at Night" are vocalese offerings that offer a slight increase in tempo and afford Williams some edgier vocal opportunities. John Coltrane's "Equinox" begins and ends with up some lyrics followed by Williams vocalese. I would have been interested in learning who penned the lyrics, but alas, no writer credits are listed.

In this setting, a lot of pressure is placed on the guitar and bass for support of the vocals, and White and Roberti come across admirably. White does not employ rhythm guitar techniques here. Its largely sympatico plucking to enhance the melody of each tune while Roberti delivers a needed pulse in his work and also gets some effective solos in notably on "Equinox." Nice work, guys!


Track Listing: I've Never Been in Love Before, The Nearness of You, Only Trust Your Heart, Bye-Bye Blackbird, Alone Together, Driving at Dawn, Equinox, Driving at Night.

Personnel: M.J. Williams, vocals; Kelly Roberti, bass; Ben White, guitar.

Title: Driving At Night | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Independent Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roll On CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Pandora's Bag CD/LP/Track Review Pandora's Bag
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 25, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 25, 2017
Read The Attic CD/LP/Track Review The Attic
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Outside The Comfort Zone CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "The Promise Of Happiness" CD/LP/Track Review The Promise Of Happiness
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 7, 2016
Read "Live In Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Trillium Falls" CD/LP/Track Review Trillium Falls
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "A Beautiful Story" CD/LP/Track Review A Beautiful Story
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "Move Upstairs" CD/LP/Track Review Move Upstairs
by James Nadal
Published: May 27, 2017

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!