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If there is one constant element in New Orleans music, it is tradition. Though there are many styles and genres to be discovered and enjoyed within this vibrant and energetic city, there is a defining acoustic syncopated sound which is most identified and associated with New Orleans. Vocalist Miss Sophie Lee with Love Street Lullaby has upheld this steady emphasis on roots music blended with modern sophistication to become one of the premier singers of the Crescent City.
The opening track "I Will Love You," a Lee original, sets up a gypsy swing vibe courtesy of guitarist Matt Johnson and trumpet man Dave Boswell, who maintain this groove throughout with their intense accompaniment. Pianist Bart Ramsey and bassist Tommy Sciple, having been with Lee for some time now, are stellar in their utilization and preservation of tempo. There is a certain way this music has to be played to obtain an accurate sound. Without the aid of electric instrumentation or drums the players rely on a sense of musical finesse and timing which is acquired through practice, dedication, and continuous live performances.
The selections run the scope from classics like "Blue Moon," and "It's Only a Paper Moon," to Tom Waits' "A Little Trip to Heaven," where Lee grabs ahold and makes it her own. Her penned number "My Love Untitled," expresses not only her songwriting skills, but also her facility to interplay with the trumpet, revealing unique phrasing and intonations. The title track is another original, a song for the river, and of ladies singing about going home, where love waits.
This is music that was conceived down on Frenchmen Street, brought to life in front of the locals who come to this part of town to hear the real deal. Since her 2008 self-produced release of "Tallulah Moon," Miss Sophie Lee has had children, opened up a jazz flavored restaurant Three Muses, and performs on a regular basis. There is an overwhelming feeling on Love Street Lullaby of a woman who is at peace with herself and the life she has chosen. It is brimming with positive possibilities of the power of music.
Track Listing: I Will Love You; Come And Get Your Happiness; Midnight Blue; When You’re Smiling; Blue Moon; My Love Untitled; You Do Something; A Little Trip To Heaven; It’s Only A Paper Moon; That’s Life I Guess; Love Street Lullaby; Korean Lullaby.
Personnel: Miss Sophie Lee: vocals; Dave Boswell: trumpet; Matt Johnson: guitar; Bart Ramsey: piano and accordion; Tommy Sciple: upright bass; Matt Rhody: violin; Chris Kohl: clarinet; Michael Seman: percussion (11).
Jazz is a creative explosion of individual freedom and communication.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was a kid. My father had a music store.
The best live performance I ever attended was Kenny Garrett in Harlem, New York.
The first jazz record I bought was Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins.
My advice to new listeners is keep listening!