243

Jacqui Naylor: Live East-West: Birdland/Yoshi's

Mark Sabbatini By

Sign in to view read count
Jacqui Naylor: Live East-West: Birdland/Yoshi's In the spirit of man bites dog, this is an album whose parts are greater than its sum.



Jackie Naylor has a strong voice, good supporting players, a catchy "acoustic smashing" concept of singing the lyrics of one song to the tune of a second, and the freedom of stretching out in a double-disc live setting. But ultimately there's an uneven quality to 2005's Live East-West: Birdland/Yoshi's, with the fiery highlights diluted by too many lackluster and awkward moments.



Naylor at her best possesses the rich vocal timbre of Billie Holiday (if not quite at the level of, say, Madeleine Peyroux) and the folk/rock passion of Carole King. The Holiday presence emerges strongly on "But Not For Me," which goes from traditional ballad to a syncopated beat and finally to a mid-tempo swing, and plenty of passion is injected into the original blues/rock "Don't Let The Bastard Get You Down." The "smashing" concept—thankfully not overused to the point of wearing out its novelty—can also provide some wild moments, such as "My Funny Valentine" performed to what (I believe) is an AC/DC-inspired vamp, and "Black Coffee" mixed with Led Zeppelin. Other "standards" run the range from Jimi Hendrix to Gershwin.



The downside are moments like the evenhanded and unemotive vocals on "Once In A Lifetime," set to a Detroit-style oldies rock beat, and a rushed and forced feel to the arrangement of "For What It's Worth" to the beat of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy." The worst part is many of these come early in the show, before she seems to unwind and get more passionate and playful with her audience.



The supporting cast, when not providing simple accompaniments for low-key compositions like "Me And Mr. Jones," is first-rate nearly all the way. Pianist Ark Khu is the most prominent, with only one example being his mixing an excellent set of intense chord and runs on "So Far Away," but nearly everyone else has moments (with multiple guitarists and bass players, sorting everyone out for credit is a bit tricky). Drummer Micha Patri, aside from some of the ill-fitting "smashes," paces things well with support that is varied and interactive without intruding.



Some may question whether Naylor is really an adult contemporary/folk singing merely borrowing a bit of jazz to accent her work, but her experimentation and variety far surpasses the likes of Norah Jones and others to whom such comparisons might be made. There's better and more heartfelt material to be heard on her earlier albums, but Live East-West still possesses enough strong qualities to reaffirm her talent.


Track Listing: DISC 1: Thank You Baby; Once In A Lifetime; We'll Fly; For What It's Worth; Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow; Don't Let The Bastard Get You Down; My Funny Valentine; Wind, The; But Not For Me; Julie's Song; It'll Be Fine; Me & Mr. Jones
DISC 2: City By The Bay; Black Coffee; Angel; So Far Away; Calling You; Money; Before I'm Gone; Cheese Puff Daddy; Peace In Our Lifetime; No Moon At All; Christmas Ain't What It Used To Be; Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight

Personnel: Jacqui Naylor (vocals); Ark Khu (electric guitar, piano, organ); Michael Romanowski (steel guitar); Brian Pardo (nylon-string guitar); Jon Evans, Ugonna Okegwo, Emmanuel Vaughan- Lee (bass instrument); Josh Jones, Micha Patri (drums, percussion); Danny Gottlieb (drums); Alison Evans (background vocals)

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Ruby | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "New Birth" CD/LP/Track Review New Birth
by Mike Jacobs
Published: July 30, 2016
Read "Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21" CD/LP/Track Review Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 10, 2016
Read "Kirkastus" CD/LP/Track Review Kirkastus
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 28, 2016
Read "Live in Japan" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Japan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Garden 2nd Set" CD/LP/Track Review Garden 2nd Set
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!