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The album's title track leaves little doubt that Carol Mennie represents a unique voice in jazz and blues. Her passionate interpretation comes from deep down inside as she travels the spectrum of emotional outpouring. She and her husband, guitarist Dom Minasi, have found a way to express classic standards and fresh originals from a different point of view.
An acoustic album with inventive concepts in musical arranging, I'm Not A Sometime Thing features a silky smooth alto voice, surrounded by the delicate strings of bowed bass, cello, and six- and twelve-string acoustic guitars. Together, Ken Filiano, Minasi, and Tomas Ulrich ensure that Mennie's vocal explorations will have no ordinary accompaniment.
Minasi's "Jazz, Jazz, Jazz" starts off the album with a bright aura and a positive spirit. We need more upbeat music such as this in our daily lives. Strolling bass, an interwoven drum kit texture, romping piano and a singer who's both musically accurate and highly expressive leaves a lasting impression. The session ends with a classic piece, "Lover Man." Mennie and her ensemble make the standard sizzle as it's never done before.
Another original, "Who Needs You," contains the lyric "Who needs another singer, singing shooby-shooby doo?" While it's a tongue-in-cheek message, Minasi's composition belies the fact that we need creative artists who give jazz a new look. Mennie's heartfelt contributions and her band's creative accompaniment give I'm Not A Sometime Thing the power of persuasion. Her debut as leader comes highly recommended.
Track Listing: Jazz, Jazz, Jazz; You Don't Know What Love Is; He Was Too Good to Me; Willow Weep For Me; Brown Eyes; I'm Not a Sometime Thing; In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning; Who Needs You; Too Long at the Fair; Angela; Lover Man.
Personnel: Carol Mennie- vocals; Dom Minasi- guitars; Patience Higgins- soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Valery Ponomarev- trumpet, flugelhorn; Michael Jefry Stevens- piano, synth; Tomas Ulrich- cello; Ken Filiano- bass; Jay Rosen- drums; Tom McGrath- bongos, marimba, percussion.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.