104

Teri Thornton: I'll Be Easy to Find

David Adler By

Sign in to view read count
Teri Thornton: I'll Be Easy to Find Singer Teri Thornton gained fairly wide recognition in the early 1960s but then fell into prolonged obscurity. Recently "rediscovered" by manager/producer Suzi Reynolds, the talented Thornton, now 65 years old and battling cancer, placed in the 1998 Thelonius Monk International Jazz Vocals Competition, played the Village Vanguard, and got signed to Verve. I’ll Be Easy to Find is her emotionally charged comeback.

Thornton’s wide, swooping vibrato suggests Sarah Vaughan, but her somewhat dry timbre is closer to Carmen McRae. Her respectable songwriting puts her in the company of Abbey Lincoln, and her quirky pianistics on three cuts recall Nina Simone. On "Somewhere in the Night" and "I’ll Be Seeing You," two of the disc’s ballads, she employs a falsetto effect that is titillating and highly original. Her scatting between verses on the up-tempo "It Ain’t Necessarily So" is hip and distinctive. "Nature Boy" is unconventionally arranged by Suzi Reynolds in a snappy 3/4, and features background horn lines nicely crafted by Howard Johnson.

Other strong points include a chipper, straightforward rendering of Frank Loesser’s "I Believe in You"; the Bart Howard ballad "I’ll Be Easy to Find"; Thornton’s own latin-tinged composition, "Wishing Well"; and Woody Harris’s "Where Are You Running?", also beautifully orchestrated by Johnson. Thornton’s bossa nova adaptation of the Lord’s Prayer doesn’t work quite as well, and I can do without the cheesy funk of "Feels Good."

Thornton is probably at her best on two original blues numbers. "Salty Mama," the hot closing track, is her winning performance at the 1998 Monk competition. You can easily see how her brashness and confidence won over the crowd: "He left town on the run/ late last night/ caught a midnight train to get a redeye flight/ but I’m a salty mama/ sleepin’ ’fore the sun go down/ I’m gonna call out the posse and have him brought back to town." And on "Knee Deep in the Blues," she manages to squeeze an ad-libbed mouthful into the first four bars of the third chorus, as if thinking out loud. Notice also her autobiographical use of the past tense on this refrain: "I was knee deep in the blues/ knee deep and sinkin’ fast/ my future was being swallowed/ by the quicksands of my past." It’s great to hear this underappreciated songstress at the top of her game, with the hard times hopefully behind her. tracks: 1. Somewhere in the Night 2. I Believe in You 3. It Ain’t Necessarily So 4. The Lord’s Prayer 5. Knee Deep in the Blues 6. I’ll Be Easy to Find 7. Nature Boy 8. Wishing Well 9. Where Are You Running? 10. Feels Good 11. I’ll Be Seeing You 12. Salty Mama personnel: Teri Thornton, vocal (all tracks), piano (7, 10, 11); Howard Johnson, cornet, tuba, contrabass clarinet, baritone saxophone (1, 3, 5, 7-9); Dave Bargeron, trombone (1, 7-9); Jerome Richardson, flute, bass flute, alto saxophone (1, 4, 7-9); Ray Chew, piano (1-6, 8, 9); Norman Simmons, piano (12); Lonnie Plaxico, bass (1-11); Michael Bowie, bass (12); J.T. Lewis, drums (1-11); Grady Tate, drums (12)

Cyberhome: www.vervemusicgroup.com


Title: I'll Be Easy to Find | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Verve Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Company I Keep CD/LP/Track Review The Company I Keep
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ma De Re Sha CD/LP/Track Review Ma De Re Sha
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Ask Seek Knock CD/LP/Track Review Ask Seek Knock
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Air and Light and Time and Space CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017
Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31" CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Undertaker Please Drive Slow" CD/LP/Track Review Undertaker Please Drive Slow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Matt Marshall
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Mirror, Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Mirror, Mirror
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Sleight Of Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Sleight Of Hand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Signaling" CD/LP/Track Review Signaling
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 11, 2017

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.