211

Joyce Cobb with the Michael Jefry Stevens Trio: Joyce Cobb with the Michael Jefry Stevens Trio

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
If New York City is the cultural center of the universe, then Memphis, Tennessee is its crossroads, with the cutting edge and the traditional mingling in Memphis like two best friends. Jazz vocalist Joyce Cobb hails from Memphis, and that city's myriad of influences are evident in her singing. Certainly sophisticated as a jazz singer, Cobb's delivery has the slurring grit of the blues. It is the sound of her meaning business when she steps up to the microphone to sing.

The disc opens with Bobby Timmons' soul-jazz classic, "Moanin,'" with Jon Hendricks' lyrics. But this is no slick Lambert, Hendricks & Ross vocalese; Cobb blows a mean harmonica, and proceeds to preach the gospel of Philadelphia soul by way of the Memphis blues.

Cobb is the regular singer for the Michael Jefry Stevens trio, also centered in Memphis. Stevens is a soulful musician with a solid sense of swing and a crack ear for arrangement. He shares, with Horace Silver, an expansive tonal sound made more broad with careful, full-note soloing. Stevens and Cobb collectively address a large repertoire, from Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies" to Thelonious Monk's "In Walked Bud," which are paired in a cleverly inspired and intertwined medley.

Cobb slays the Green/Manners lyrics to Fats Waller's "Jitterbug Waltz." Stevens' cascading 3/4 stroll, coupled with Jonathan Wires' crack bass solo, establishes a breezy ambiance exploited by Cobb's easy delivery. Stevens solos on Hoagy Carmichael's "Skylark," before launching in to Jon Hendricks' take on "Monk's Dream" ("Man, That Was A Dream") with Cobb. Cole Porter's 1938 "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" is a beautiful, libertine take on an old tune. In the smartest pairing offered, "I'm In The Mood For Love/Moody's Mood for Love" provides a solid vehicle for Cobb to display straight melody singing, followed by the highest level of jazz elaboration.

A sultry "It's Over Now (Well You Needn't)" closes the disc in Monkian style, showing that music with grit can also be multifaceted, and even pretty. It's warm in Memphis, and this recording makes it warmer.

Track Listing: Moanin'; Jitterbug Waltz; Skylark; Man, That Was A Dream; My Heart Belongs To Daddy; I'm In The Mood for Love/Moody's Mood for Love; Blue Skies/In Walked Bud; If You Know Love; If You Never Come to Me; I Thought About You; Daydream; It's Over Now (Well You Needn't).

Personnel: Joyce Cobb: vocals, harmonica; Michael Jefry Stevens: piano; Jonathan Wires: bass; Renardo Ward: drums.

Title: Joyce Cobb with the Michael Jefry Stevens Trio | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Archer Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Slægt CD/LP/Track Review Slægt
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 24, 2017
Read An Eye on the Future CD/LP/Track Review An Eye on the Future
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Cherry ‎– Sakura CD/LP/Track Review Cherry ‎– Sakura
by John Sharpe
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Blow, Strike & Touch CD/LP/Track Review Blow, Strike & Touch
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2017
Read Elusive CD/LP/Track Review Elusive
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 23, 2017
Read Transitions CD/LP/Track Review Transitions
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 23, 2017
Read "Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis" CD/LP/Track Review Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by John Sharpe
Published: November 11, 2016
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Nellie Bly Project" CD/LP/Track Review Nellie Bly Project
by Paul Rauch
Published: August 11, 2017
Read "Developing Story" CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "Freedom is Space for the Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is Space for the Spirit
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 2, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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