155

Ranee Lee: Maple Groove

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Ranee Lee: Maple Groove Veteran jazz singer Ranee Lee celebrates the Great Canadian Songbook with her session of songs by some of Canada’s noted composers and lyricists. They’re songs familiar to the world. Lee interprets them with a sensitive ear.

Ballads, such as “Maybe September,” reveal her strongest quality. She dances her way through our hearts with expression that comes from deep within. As she sings Oscar Peterson’s “Hymn to Freedom” a cappella with a talented vocal ensemble from McGill University, Lee convinces. Her genuine reflections carry us home.

Tradition takes a detour on “Spinning Wheel,” as Lee introduces her grandson, with his amplified rap vocal conclusion to the song. His finale makes a better impression of the classic rock tune than Lee’s, since her voice lacks the vibrancy required to return David Clayton-Thomas’s original favor. The singer is much better with piquant melodies such as “Swinging Shepherd Blues” or “Waltz for Debby.” Her voice carries a charming quality that flaunts the blues all over the place. Lee’s wordless vocals and lyric interpretations set the house a-swinging.

Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” receives a slow, reverent characterization that drags slightly. “My Beat” and “Undun” drive straight ahead with ambitious force and a perky personality. Several of these classic tunes, however, rely solely on their melody for effect. Without significant partner solos and without vocal improvisation, they meander somewhat. With Lee’s strong background in visceral vocal interpretation, the program works better with blues-based swingers.

Track Listing: If You Could Read My Mind; Waltz for Debby; Maybe September; My Beat; It Looks Like Rain; Douce Pluie; Some Of These Days; Put Your Dreams Away; Undun; Hymn to Freedom; Swinging Shepherd Blues; Both Sides Now; Spinning Wheel.

Personnel: Ranee Lee- vocals; Richard Ring- guitar; John Sadowy, Brian Dickinson- piano; Zach Lober, Mike Downes- bass; Dave Lang- drums; Ron Di Lauro- trumpet; Richard Beaudet- soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; Darrell Henegan, Jr.- rap on

Year Released: 2004 | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell CD/LP/Track Review Peace and Love: A Tribute to Will Connell
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Oaktree CD/LP/Track Review Oaktree
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Green With Envy CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Luma CD/LP/Track Review Luma
by Geannine Reid
Published: March 28, 2017
Read My Foolish Heart CD/LP/Track Review My Foolish Heart
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 28, 2017
Read Ha Noi Duo CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Infinite Spirit - Revisiting Music of the Mwandishi Band" CD/LP/Track Review Infinite Spirit - Revisiting Music of the Mwandishi Band
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 4, 2016
Read "Janus" CD/LP/Track Review Janus
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Live At The Troubadour 1969" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Troubadour 1969
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Checking Out" CD/LP/Track Review Checking Out
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 19, 2016
Read "The Way You Look Tonight" CD/LP/Track Review The Way You Look Tonight
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 10, 2016
Read "The Beautiful Day" CD/LP/Track Review The Beautiful Day
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

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!