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Rosanne Agasee has gathered some fine musicians on her debut recording. She has also honed in on jazz standards and pop tunes to showcase her vocals. So far it is all good.
If there is one thing that the record proves, it is that Agasee is a pop stylist. She starts out low-key. Her singing tends to be awash in pathos on "Home at Last, which has some telling playing from Doug Riley on the Hammond B3 and loquacious guitar from Jake Langley. Interpreting Steely Dan is no mean task. Agasee also has Sting in the works, with whom she tries a jazz twist. The song just doesn't lend itself to the interpretation, and while Agasee makes the effort, the final bell does not signal a triumph.
Agasee's limitations as a jazz singer are visible on the jazz tunes. She cannot muster the depth or the inflection to get into the meat of the lyrics and make them stand up and vibrate. "Summertime ticks along at a quick pace, but all it turns out to be is a nice pop ditty. This also holds for "Blue Skies, a pop adventure that is marked by some incisive guitar from Langley and a whomping sax solo from Chris Mitchell. Singing songs is one thing, singing jazz another.
Track Listing: Home at Last; You Go to My Head; He Thinks He
Personnel: Rosanne Agasee: vocals; Doug Riley: Hammond B3 organ, piano, vibes; Chris Mitchell:
soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, flute; Ben Riley: drums, percussion; Jake
Langley: electric and acoustic guitar; Robert Botos: piano (12); Frank Botos: drums (12);
Atilla Darvas: bass (12).
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.