All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

185

Edmonia Jarrett: Live, Live, Live! / Legal at Any Age

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
I ran into Edmonia Jarrett last January in Anaheim, California, a few moments after I ran headlong into some recording equipment, opening an inch–long gash on my forehead (but that’s another story). Edmonia, a volunteer worker at the annual Conference of the International Association of Jazz Educators, led me to a seat and found an ice pack for my head. “What do you do when you’re not volunteering?” I asked. “I’m a Jazz singer,” she replied. “Here’s my card,” I said. About a month later these discs arrived, giving me a chance to hear for myself whether Edmonia was being straight with me or simply talking trash. What can I say? Edmonia, you are are Jazz singer — and you are fabulous! The voice is as deep and rock–ribbed as a chasm, the timing as steady as a metronome, the intonation precise, the delivery as charming and sure–footed as a waltz by Fred and Ginger. The Seattle (Washington) Times put it this way: “If thick, cloudy ribbons of cedar smoke could talk, their voices would sound a lot like Edmonia Jarrett.” In searching for comparisons, I was reminded of the late great Alberta Hunter, another of my personal favorites. Unlike Alberta, who had two careers — early and late — Edmonia spent much of her adult life as a respected educator and school administrator in Seattle before she was diagnosed with cancer. Spurning chemotherapy, she placed her faith in a higher Power and survived. It was only then that Jarrett, apparently a natural–born singer, decided to pursue a “second career,” and education’s loss is our gain — and mustn’t her former colleagues be surprised! On Legal at Any Age she meshes wonderfully (on “Too Good to Be True” and “East of the Sun”) with another survivor, Freddy Cole, who has spent years calmly building a solid reputation as someone other than Nat’s brother. She also duets (on “Come Rain or Come Shine”) with virtuosic bassist Andy Simpkins. On both recordings, Jarrett shows that she can swing, sing the blues or caress a ballad about as well as anyone. While the wellspring from which her abundant talent flows is a mystery, we should be thankful that it’s there for everyone to hear and appreciate. Her choice of material, by the way, is exemplary, and her sidemen are outstanding. So you weren’t pulling my leg after all, Edmonia — thanks for the ice, and even more for the wonderful listening experience! My hat’s off to you.

Track listing: Live, Live, Live! — Someone to Watch Over Me; Moonglow; When a Woman Loves a Man; Roll ’Em, Pete; Willow Weep for Me; The More I See You; Live, Live, Live; I Cover the Waterfront; Smile; On the Street Where You Live; Skylark; Gone with the Wind; Oh, But Your Eyes (56:55). Legal at Any Age — The Jazz in You; In Love in Vain; Too Good to Be True; Sugar; Come Rain or Come Shine; You Stepped Out of a Dream; Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams; Endlessly; If You Love Me; How Am I to Know?; Don’t Misunderstand; So This Is Love; Speak Low; When October Goes; East of the Sun (58:39).


Personnel:

Live, Live, Live!

Title: Live, Live, Live! / Legal at Any Age | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: MNOP Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read For Gyumri CD/LP/Track Review
For Gyumri
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Sextet (Parker) 1993 CD/LP/Track Review
Sextet (Parker) 1993
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim CD/LP/Track Review
Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim
by Kevin Press
Published: February 19, 2018
Read 9 CD/LP/Track Review
9
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Orientation CD/LP/Track Review
Orientation
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Romaria CD/LP/Track Review
Romaria
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 18, 2018
Read "Living In Twilight" CD/LP/Track Review Living In Twilight
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "Trollskogen" CD/LP/Track Review Trollskogen
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 22, 2017
Read "All You Gotta Do" CD/LP/Track Review All You Gotta Do
by Doug Collette
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Rendering" CD/LP/Track Review Rendering
by Mark Christian Miller
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke Ellington's Far East Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Barbes: Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: March 21, 2017
Read "Magic Circle" CD/LP/Track Review Magic Circle
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: December 12, 2017