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Making a sparkling entrance into the jazz vocal arena on her self-titled debut, Boston native Joy Mover turns a new page in her musical career from years of writing and producing to recording. The music business is a natural environment for the singer, in fact, as she hails from a distinguished musical family that includes her brother, renowned saxophonist Bob Moverwho, incidentally, also appears on the album. For this debut, the singer selects an eleven-song repertoire of originals and standards borrowed from the likes of Eden Ahbez ("Nature Boy"), Antonio Carlos Jobim ("Corcovado") and others.
Helping to propel the music is a cast of twelve superb musicians that, besides brother Bob, also include the great Ira Sullivan on trumpet, sax and flute as well as a cadre of players from Mover's days in Miami that feature among them, bassist Jamie Ousley, and pianist Mike Levine. The music begins with the Latin-styled salsa "Have You Ever Loved?," showcasing the percussive prowess of Richard Bravo and drummer Lee Levin along with Boston guitarist John Paul and flautist Billy Ross.
Mover's soothing vocals are a perfect fit for the beautiful soft bossa ballad of "If I Could Tell You." Her vocals then turn decidedly cool which, along with Sullivan's light horn play, makes for one of the best pieces of the album on the smooth-like "Midnight Oil." The singer provides a very sultry treatment of the time-honored classic "Nature Boy"aided, of course, by supportive tenor lines from her saxophone savvy sibling. Meredith Wilson's pop standard "Till There Was You" is taken for quite a ride on this unique version, starting with a rap intro by the vocalist, and leading to some humbling vocals, Mover's tender tenor solo and Dan Warner's fiery electric guitar riffs.
Jobim would be proud of the way his immortal "Corcovado" (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars) is performed; of all of the renditions ever recorded, this is among the best. Davenport & Cooley's ever popular "Fever" certainly does the trick here too, moving the temperature up on Mover's high-pitched read on one of the best swinging songs of the set.
Closing the project with the familiar "Dream A Little Dream of Me," Mover delivers one very special dreamy debut, full of gorgeous love songs and standards with new twists all forged by a sultry soothing vocal approach that's pleasing to the ear. Mover's debut is a well-conceived, well-done musical endeavor impressive on many fronts.
Track Listing: Have You Ever Loved?; Maria's Song; If I Could Tell You; Midnight Oil; Only The Wind; Nature Boy; Home Sweet Home; Till There Was You; Corcovado; Fever; Dream A Little Dream Of Me.
Personnel: Joy Mover: vocals; Ira Sullivan: trumpet, tenor saxophone, alto flute; Bob Mover: tenor saxophone; John Paul: guitars, electric bass, synthesizers; Mike Levine: piano; Richard Bravo: percussion; Lee Levin: drums; Sammy Levine: drums (2, 5, 6, 11); Jamie Ousley: upright bass; Billy Ross: flute; Dan Warner: guitar (8); Javier Carrion: electric bass (1-4, 7, 9); Vinny Damaio: drums (9).
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.