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 when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.