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The title of Kathy Jenkins' maiden album is a little misleading in that a trio shares the spotlight with a big band. Both groups are well led by Russian born pianist and Jenkins' husband, Nick Levinovsky. On this exciting album, the two touch all the musical bases. The session offers high voltage, swinging big band arrangements backing Jenkins to much more mellow, relaxed support by the trio. Like the instrumentals, Jenkins' voice ranges from the boisterous when backed by the larger aggregation (understandably, so she can be heard over 16 men swinging), to gentle and sentimental when in the trio setting. She does well with both. Her voice can be cool with an edge on such cuts as "From This Moment On" where half way through, with wordless vocalizing, she becomes part of the brass section. Contrast this with the pull at the heart strings emotions on "Lonely Woman". Like cute and sassy? Jenkins can do that too as with "If I Were a Bell" and "When the Sun Comes Out". Then there's ironic with on "What You Don't Know about Women". One of the album's highlights is a trio accompanied Jenkins' lament on "End of a Love Affair".
This album once more demonstrates the significance of good arrangements and outstanding musicians in making an album successful. This band's chairs are occupied by some of New York's top players and each cut features a solo by at least one of these fine musicians. As can be expected, the lion's share of the solo space belongs to Levinovsky. But the saxophones of Rich Perry and Andy Middleton share individual attention on "When the Sun Comes Out". Andy Gravish brings a strong open trumpet to "Gotta Move" while Kenny Rampton's blues-laden trumpet enhances "Black Coffee". To borrow from a current promo for the PGA Senior tour, "These guys really can play."
With excellent range and diction, an intuitive feel for the lyrics and not afraid to wear her feelings on her vocal sleeve, Kathy Jenkins is a welcome addition to the jazz vocal scene. From This Moment On is recommended.
Tracks:From This Moment On; When the Sun Comes Out; What You Don't Know about Women; Love for Sale; Lover Man; Gotta Move; Lonely Woman; If I Were a Bell; Fascinatin' Rhythm; Black Coffee; I Got the World on a String; Come Rain or Come Shine; End of a Love Affair; Ask Me Now
Personnel: Kathy Jenkins - Vocal; Bob Milligan, Craig Johnson, Andy Gravish, Kenny Rampton - Trumpet; Noah Bless, Dave Panichi, Pat Halloran, Dale Turk - Trombone; Mike Migliore, Chip Burris, Andy Middleton, Rich Perry, Rick Kriska - Saxophone; Nick Levinovsky- Piano, Conductor, Arranger; Boris Koslow - Bass; Darryl Pellegrini - Drums
Jazz is a continuing revelation. The best show I ever attended was the
Roots Picnic at Penn's Landing in Philadelphia, or was it Robert
Glasper's Experiment at Lincoln Center, or was it Chick Corea with
Brian Blade at Oberlin College? Most of all I enjoy playing guitar and
composing beats with my Brooklyn-based group Space Captain.