774

Carolyn Leonhart and Wayne Escoffery: If Dreams Come True

By

Sign in to view read count
Carolyn Leonhart and Wayne Escoffery: If Dreams Come True The combination of jazz vocalist Carolyn Leonhart and saxophonist Wayne Escoffery is an unusual and exciting one. Leonhart, the daughter of jazz bassist Jay Leonhart, has recorded in the past for Sunnyside Records—Steal The Moon (2000) and New 8th Day (2005). She also has provided harmony vocal work for Steely Dan over an eleven-year period. Escoffery was a member of the exciting Ben Riley's Monk Legacy Jazz Septet, with Memories of T (Concord, 2006) being critically well-received. Escoffery released his own album last year, Veneration (Savant, 2007).

Leonhart and Escoffery met in 2004 and were married two years later. If Dreams Come True is their first joint musical venture. Leonhart begins the album with a refreshing take on the Benny Goodman/Edgar Sampson Swing Era tune, "If Dreams Come True." She swings the song in a similar manner to Dominque Eade by bringing an edginess to the lyrics that are matched by Escoffery's tenor solo.

Leonhart's vocals on the rest of the album are decidedly lower-key. On the original ballad, "Nothing Left To Say," Escoffery takes up the soprano sax for lyrical support of her vocal. Benny Carter's "Key Largo," a tune that time seems to have unfairly forgotten, is rendered like the smoky ballad that it is. Another original, "Earth Calling," is a fast-paced charger that closes out the album. On most of the other tracks, Leonhart is heard in a supporting role via her vocalese. The rhythm section of pianist Toru Dodo, bassist Hans Glawisching and either Jason Brown or Carl Allen on drums is a hot one, and their interaction with Escoffery is undoubtedly an exciting one to catch in live performance.

Escoffery's solo work proves gutsy and hard blowing, and likewise supportive and reflective for the slower tunes. Ideally, if there had been more of Leonhart's worded vocals, it would have raised the level of this album, but the effort, as is, remains a diverting project. The album also represents a change of pace for the label, Nagel-Heyer, which specializes in postwar swing and easygoing mainstream artists.


Track Listing: If Dreams Come True; Nothing Left to Say; Never Too Soon; Not Without You; Angel Face; Key Largo; Free to Love; Desert Moonlight; Earth Calling.

Personnel: Carolyn Leonhart: vocals; Wayne Escoffery: tenor and soprano sax; Toru Dodo: piano; Hans Glawischnig: bass; Jason Brown: drums (1, 2, 4, 9); Carl Allen: drums (3, 5, 6, 8).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Nagel Heyer Records | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Juggling Kukla" CD/LP/Track Review Juggling Kukla
by John Sharpe
Published: June 19, 2016
Read "Narrante" CD/LP/Track Review Narrante
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 7, 2016
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "On Ceremony" CD/LP/Track Review On Ceremony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Mu" CD/LP/Track Review Mu
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!