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Jeri Brown: Image In The Mirror: The Triptych

Jim Santella By

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A consummate jazz singer, Jeri Brown has mastered all the elements. Her rich vocal quality is a natural for ballads. Seamless phrasing and a convincing emotional inflection make each story come alive. Her accuracy and power while scat singing lift the session to a higher level. Vocalese appears to be one of Brown's strongest qualities.

Milton Sealey wrote the music for this, her 8th Justin Time album. Together, he and Brown connected the pieces into a cohesive work of dramatic art: a musical. It's a romance novel with music to carry the message home. Soulful moods lighten up the melodrama on "Who's Been Loving You?" and "I'll Remember Love." Elsewhere, Brown offers romantic ballads that invite you to fall in love all over again – along with her and the trio. Sealey, Avery Sharpe and Grady Tate provide a wholesome accompaniment that changes mood as the story demands. When Tate sings in duo with the leader, their role-playing carries a sincere, but somber, sense of expression. Better is the note-for-note vocalese she shares with bassist Sharpe on their burning arrangement of "My Window." Words aren't necessary when Brown scats the unmistakable meaning of "I'm in Love Again." Following standard jazz format on this tune, she offers lyrics at the start and finish with instrumental solos from each artist in between. "Lonesome Child" adds a bit of the old-fashioned blues to this melodrama. Sealy sings this one as if it came out of Storyville. While the album's sound quality is a bit uneven, this one contains heartfelt stories that are interpreted sincerely by a warm and talented jazz singer.

Track Listing: Image in the Mirror; My Window; All At Once; My Fragile Heart; I'll Remember Love; Who's Been Loving You?; Hardly A Day; Alone With You; I'm in Love Again; You're My World; The Dragonfly and the Pearl (Black Diamond); Lonesome Child.

Personnel: Jeri Brown- vocals; Milton Sealey- piano, vocals on "Lonesome Child;" Avery Sharpe- basses; Grady Tate- drums, vocals on "You're My World" and "Alone With You."

| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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