106

Grace Darling: Imaginary Lover

Robert Spencer By

Sign in to view read count
Grace Darling is your standard tenor sax-playing vocalist, and Imaginary Lover is just another one of those discs where the leader plays tenor sax and sings in front of New Orleans funk-gospel backbeats. Seriously, that this accomplished singer plays sax at all (or should that be "that this accomplished saxophonist sings at all"?) is intriguing; the fact that she does both quite well makes this a superb funk-jazz recording.

Darling's vocals are stylistically more pop- than jazz-oriented, but check out the beginning of "You're My Imaginary Lover," which sounds a little like the startup of "Stairway to Heaven." Darling can communicate a feeling with the best of them (This track was co-written, by the way, by Al Kooper, the giant of Sixties electric blues). Darling doesn't pick up the saxophone until the fourth track, "Going Nowhere Fast," but she plays it on all six of the remaining tracks. Her playing is firmly in the R&B tradition: funky but bright and sharp in tone, like Coltrane. She's able to make it sing over the deepest of grooves. Her "wah wah" sax on "Going Nowhere Fast" and "Ring Dang Do" is particularly memorable.

All in all, Grace Darling is definitely a talent to watch, and Imaginary Lover is a promising release of funk grooves.

| Record Label: NYNO | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert CD/LP/Track Review Bill Evans – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Failure of Words CD/LP/Track Review The Failure of Words
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 24, 2017
Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Romance 76" CD/LP/Track Review Romance 76
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 11, 2016
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 16, 2016
Read "Time/Life:Songs For The Whales And Other Beings" CD/LP/Track Review Time/Life:Songs For The Whales And Other Beings
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "Chronicles" CD/LP/Track Review Chronicles
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 29, 2016
Read "Heavy Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter Compositions" CD/LP/Track Review Early Wayne: Explorations of Classic Wayne Shorter...
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 26, 2016

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!