237

Melody Breyer-Grell: Fascinatin' Rhythms: Singing Gershwin

By

Sign in to view read count
Melody Breyer-Grell: Fascinatin' Rhythms: Singing Gershwin Coming on the heels of her well-received debut album, The Right Time (Rhombus, 2004), jazz singer Melody Breyer-Grell's Fascinatin' Rhythms: Singing Gershwin is an appreciation of the Gershwin songbook. This is, by itself, a daunting task, since there are many preceding greats who have interpreted these songs many times over. Tackling tunes like "Embraceable You," "Someone to Watch Over Me" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It," the obvious comparison is with the Ella Fitzgerald-Billie Holiday-Sarah Vaughan A-List. Here, although many of these tunes are enjoyable, they are no more than average in the grand scheme of things.



The presence of the superb musicians on hand for this project does elevate the album, however, providing a warm, rhythmic cushion for the singer. Breyer-Grell begins the album with a distinct hint of the vocal style of Broadway/Hollywood's Gwen Verdon on an interesting "Somebody Loves Me," where she trades lines with tenor saxophonist Don Braden before the ensemble joins in. "Nice Work If You Can Get It" is a showcase for John Hart's simpatico guitar work as he continues to do just that throughout the album. Trumpeter Jim Rotondi uses his solos to alternately swing or soothe the balladry of Breyer-Grell. "Who Cares?" is taken up-tempo with a blistering Braden solo, and pianist/arranger Gloria Cooper also deserves positive comment..

The singer does score points for including several of the verses which, in the era of these tunes, were very pertinent to their lyrical content. She is better in the upper register, while her other work seems to have a shade too much of "acting out" the lyrics.

Fascinatin' Rhythms: Singing Gershwin is a mixed bag of loving the music performed by a vocalist that remain neutral.


Track Listing: Somebody Loves Me; Nice Work If You Can Get It; Someone To Watch Over Me; Fascinatin' Rhythm; I've Got A Crush On You; Who Cares?; But Not For Me; I'll Build A Stairway To Paradise; Love Walk In; How Long Has This Been Going On?; Let's Call The Whole Thing Off; They All Laughed; Embraceable You/Our Love Is Here To Stay.

Personnel: Melody Breyer-Grell: vocals; Gloria Cooper: piano; Dean Johnson: bass; Don Braden: saxophone; Jim Rotundi: trumpet; John Hart: guitar; Kahil Kwame Bell: percussion.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Rhombus Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1" CD/LP/Track Review Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A." CD/LP/Track Review The Last Remaining Payphone in L.A.
by Paul Naser
Published: October 18, 2016
Read "Lello's Italian Job, Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Lello's Italian Job, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: September 9, 2016
Read "Gin Fizz Fandango" CD/LP/Track Review Gin Fizz Fandango
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2016
Read "Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis" CD/LP/Track Review Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 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!