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 June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Yo!" CD/LP/Track Review Yo!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 20, 2016
Read "Live in Concert" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Concert
by David Becker
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "Flaga: Book of Angels, Volume 27" CD/LP/Track Review Flaga: Book of Angels, Volume 27
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 14, 2016
Read "Ubuntu" CD/LP/Track Review Ubuntu
by James Nadal
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "City Colors" CD/LP/Track Review City Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 28, 2016

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!