206

Greta Matassa: Live at Tula's

By

Sign in to view read count
Greta Matassa is a Seattle-based jazz singer who evidently has a strong following and some valid credentials from the prestigious Earshot Magazine. This publication named Matassa as Best Female Jazz Vocalist for multiple years in the Pacific Northwest area. This album, recorded live at Tula's, the popular downtown Seattle jazz club, offers thirteen standards backed by her trio.

The session begins promisingly with "Save Your Love From Me" from the Buddy Johnson songbook (but more popularized by the Cannonball Adderley/Nancy Wilson recording) with a nice groove and feeling from the singer. We then get a series of three consecutive ballads, "The Nearness of You," "For All We Know," and "Tenderly"—all good songs, but there's a sameness about them insofar as presentation is concerned. Matassa is an adequate vocalist, and after the brief piano solo, on the first two, she attempts to re-interpret the lyrics. This technique only partially succeeds, as I kept thinking about what Betty Carter et al. would have done.

She fares better on mid-tempo songs like Jobim's adapted "Boy from Ipanema" or the bluesy Redman/Razaf "Ain't I Good to You." The inclusion of the Webster & Burke "Black Coffee," developed here into a stomping down-home blues, is surely Matassa's closer or encore. The lyrics of unrequited love are given a fine toe-tapping presentation but her vocal deteriorates into histrionics as Matassa enacts the last chorus replete with lots of melisma and vocal swoops that you might expect from an R&B diva. I'm sure that it plays out better in person than on disc.

Pianist Randy Halberstadt provides empathetic support and really gets to shine on the blues-based numbers like "Black Coffee" and "Ain't I Good to You" and bassist Clipper Anderson gets in some solo work in "I've Got You Under My Skin."

Note: this album was recorded in multi-channel SACD.


Track Listing: Save Your Love For Me, Ain't I Good To You, Night and Day, The Nearness of You, For All We Know, Tenderly, Boy From Ipanema, Black Coffee, Willow Weep for Me, Stompin' at the Savoy, Speak Low, The Shadow of Your Smile, I've Got You Under My Skin.

Personnel: Greta Matassa, vocals; Randy Halberstadt,piano; Clipper Anderson,bass; Gary Hobbs,drums

Year Released: 2004 | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen" CD/LP/Track Review Vanheusenism: A Tribute to Jimmy Van Heusen
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 2, 2016
Read "Rising Colossus" CD/LP/Track Review Rising Colossus
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Poetry For The Beat Generation" CD/LP/Track Review Poetry For The Beat Generation
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 11, 2016
Read "Reciprocity" CD/LP/Track Review Reciprocity
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2016
Read "Elegy" CD/LP/Track Review Elegy
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "The Quest: Live at the A.P.C." CD/LP/Track Review The Quest: Live at the A.P.C.
by Jim Trageser
Published: February 14, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!