149

James Love: Invitations

J. Robert Bragonier By

Sign in to view read count
James Love: Invitations Compared to the number of new female jazz singers recording today, males are definitely underrepresented. For that reason, I tend to keep my ears peeled for new male talent. James Love clearly qualifies: although he has sung for twenty years informally in his hometown of St. Louis and in Boston, where he used to jam with students from the Berklee College of Music and open for artists like Jon Hendricks, Marlena Shaw, Lonnie Liston Smith, and Freddie Hubbard, music has been primary in his life for only about three years, and this is his first recording effort. He is currently based in Los Angeles and gigging in Southern California and along the coast.

Here Love recreates seven standards in about 41 minutes, backed by a totally adequate if not stellar rhythm section and soloists. His voice is a warm, supple and resonant baritone, and he sings with good feeling, control and intonation. His range is fairly impressive, although he knows when not to reach beyond his grasp (passing on four F's at relatively low volume in "Stella By Starlight," for instance, while nailing a couple G's and a bunch of F's perfectly at high volume). His phrasing is natural and comfortable, and his improvisation, smooth and intuitive.

The mystery and intrigue of Bronislaw Kaper's "Invitation" fit Love's full, rich instrument like a fur-lined leather glove. In my view, that selection, "Valentine" and "Stella" are highlights of the CD, the depths of each plumbed with intensity and emotion. The album concludes with a laid-back, gently swinging version of Gary McFarland's "Sack Full of Dreams," its nostalgia enriched by Love's lazy whistling near its conclusion. James Love is a new male jazz vocal talent whose name is well worth remembering. I can assure I will be watching for it on marquees in the Los Angeles area.

Track Listing: Invitation*; The Look of Love*; Blue Moon**; My Funny Valentine**; Stella By Starlight*+; Unforgettable; Sack Full of Dreams+

Personnel: James Love (vocals), Mark Bridges (piano), Ralph Gibson** (tenor sax), Chuck Johnson* (tenor or soprano sax), Charles Small+ (guitar), Wendell Williams (bass), and Cornel Fauler (drums)

Title: Invitations | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Jazzin Productions


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Towards Language CD/LP/Track Review Towards Language
by John Eyles
Published: June 23, 2017
Read The Romeo and Juliet Project CD/LP/Track Review The Romeo and Juliet Project
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Crystal Machine CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Machine
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2017
Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Pekka" CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "The Twilight Fall" CD/LP/Track Review The Twilight Fall
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 9, 2017
Read "Born In An Urban Ruin" CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "An Eclipse Of Images" CD/LP/Track Review An Eclipse Of Images
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 1, 2016
Read "Brasil L.I.K.E" CD/LP/Track Review Brasil L.I.K.E
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "It's Time" CD/LP/Track Review It's Time
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 31, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.