The Houston jazz mafia expands with vocalist Raquel Cepeda's I'm Confessin'. Cepeda joins the ranks of multi-instrumentalist Henry Darragh, singers Melissa Darragh, Tianna Hall, Jacqui Sutton and Danielle Reich, guitarist Paul Chester, trumpeter Dennis Dotson (who appears here), saxophonist Larry Slezak and (by extension), trumpeter Carol Morgan, Houston jazz mafiosi all. Cepeda adds eloquently to a merry band of musicians that harbor an amazing lack of overlap among their very individual styles.
Singing is the Venezuelan-born Cepada's avocation. By day she is a geological engineer working for the Texas oil industry. In addition to singing, she is also a visual artist, writer and dancerall not surprising considering her gracefully exotic looks and perfectly sculpted voice which is capable of handling multiple song sources, all bearing refraction through the Latin jazz prism.
Cepeda's approach is big and lush. Her baker's dozen of songs is supported by a large ensemble employing a string quartet when necessary. The overall personality of I'm Confessin' is elegance and intelligence. Elegance may be heard in the title tune and the foreign language pieces, "Besame Mucho" and "Chega de Saudade." Pianist Paul English provides plush arrangements well suited to Cepeda's studied voice.
But all is not smooth corners and good behavior. Cepeda and company add provocative angularity with a swing-stop "East of the Sun" and "I don't Know Enough About You." "What is This Thing Called Love" is beautifully ill-behaved, the ballad taken at double time featuring English just keeping things in control: exciting and inventive. The disc concludes with a brilliantly combined "Corcovado/Estate" performed with humid langor and sotto voce promises.
Track Listing: East of the Sun; Besame Mucho; Chega de Saudade; These Foolish Things;
Tonada de Luna Llena; Somos Novios; I Don't Know Enough About You;
Dream a Little Dream of Me; How Deep Is the Ocean; Me Flechaste el
Corazon; What Is This Thing Called Love; I'm Confessin' (That I Love
Personnel: Raquel Cepeda: vocals; Bob Chadwick: flutes; David Caceres: alto and
tenor saxophones; Warren Steed: tenor and soprano saxophones; Dennis
Dotson: trumpet; Paul English: piano, trumpet, flugelhorn; Thomas
Hulten: trombone; Brennen Nase: guitar; Guil Fonseca: guitar; Jeffry
Eckels: bass; Dean Macomber: drums; Jorge Orta: percussion; Tony
Parana: percussion; James Metcalfe: percussion; Marcia Sterling:
violin; Oleg Sulyga: violin; Dan Strba: viola; Shino Hayashi: cello.
Year Released: 2013
| Record Label: Peonia Music
| Style: Vocal
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.