239

Rachelle Ferrell: Individually (Can I Be Me?)

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Rachelle Ferrell: Individually (Can I Be Me?)
While her album entertains with a pleasant groove and a variety of electronic textures, Rachelle Ferrell shares only about half her true talent with the audience. Preferring instead to cover the session with background vocals, droning hip-hop rhythms and movie soundtrack effects, she weaves an acrobatic voice around originals that offer stories of romance and other personal relationships. Her extended vocal range allows the singer to perform difficult passages with ease. A natural blues and gospel sentiment pours forth effortlessly. When she sings "I Forgive You," her convincing message digs deeply into the listener's heart. All the extra sound textures, however, do get in the way. It's like trying to propose marriage in a crowded train station.

Ferrell's own piano accompaniment provides the singer a mechanism for total immersion. Moaning and emoting with charged, wordless shouts, she screams, "Why You Wanna Mess it all Up?" Her emotional highs are quite effective. Coming at you right and left with full power, Ferrell provides a convincing argument. Employing both loud strategy and soft come-ons, she's effective at explaining her position. As an interpreter, Ferrell has few peers. The album's high point comes on its final track, when her accompaniment is pared down to piano, bass, drums and guitar. Ferrell's voice is then allowed to shine brightly over a modest arrangement. Duets with Jonathan Butler and her brother, Russ Barnes, add a measurable lift to this third album from Rachelle Ferrell. However, with so much going on, the true appreciation of her superb vocal talents becomes an unwanted test of the listener's ability to focus.

Track Listing

Individuality (Can I Be Me?); Sista; Will You Remember Me?; I Forgive You; I Gotta Go; Why You Wanna Mess It All Up?; Gaia; Run To Me; Reflections of My Heart; Satisfied; I Can Explain.

Personnel

Rachelle Ferrell- vocal, piano, Roland A-90, morpheus; George Duke- keyboards, keyboard bass, guitars, drum programming; Jef Lee Johnson- guitars, keyboards, bass; Byron Miller- bass; Lil

Album information

Title: Individually (Can I Be Me?) | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Capitol Records

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Sun Trance
Sun Trance
Markus Reuter
Read Lies
Lies
Clemens Kuratle Murmullo
Read Prism
Prism
Conference Call

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.