All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

774

Carolyn Leonhart and Wayne Escoffery: If Dreams Come True

By

Sign in to view read count
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).

Title: If Dreams Come True | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Nagel Heyer Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Tides of Yesterday

Tides of Yesterday

Savant Records
2010

buy
If Dreams Come True

If Dreams Come True

Nagel Heyer Records
2008

buy
If Dreams Come True

If Dreams Come True

Nagel Heyer Records
2007

buy
New 8th Day

New 8th Day

Sunnyside Records
2005

buy
Steal The Moon

Steal The Moon

Sunnyside Records
2000

buy

Related Articles

Read Dawn CD/LP/Track Review
Dawn
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Life Of CD/LP/Track Review
Life Of
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun CD/LP/Track Review
Downtown Castles Can Never Block The Sun
by Gareth Thompson
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Enso CD/LP/Track Review
Enso
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Let Your Light Shine On CD/LP/Track Review
Let Your Light Shine On
by Chris May
Published: May 27, 2018
Read Dirt...And More Dirt CD/LP/Track Review
Dirt...And More Dirt
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971" CD/LP/Track Review On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Ain't Who I Was" CD/LP/Track Review Ain't Who I Was
by Doug Collette
Published: October 28, 2017
Read "Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "In-House Science" CD/LP/Track Review In-House Science
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 9, 2018
Read "Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933" CD/LP/Track Review Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 15, 2018
Read "Landfall" CD/LP/Track Review Landfall
by Doug Collette
Published: May 2, 2018