Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Vanessa Collier: Meeting My Shadow

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
During the golden age of rhythm and blues, the saxophonist, who often doubled on vocals, was the leader of the band, and the star of the show. Fast forward, and we find Vanessa Collier who is all of the above, and also a genuine quadruple threat. With an honored degree from Berklee, and having spent several years honing her sax skills with bluesman Joe Louis Walker, her sophomore release Meeting My Shadow shows her terrific ability on blues toned alto and honking tenor sax. She also composed and arranged most of the material, and has a soul soaked voice coupled with remarkable stage presence.

A mysterious wah-wah effect sets up "Poisoned The Well," the funky opener which has Collier overdubbing most of the instruments. Veteran horn man Marc Franklin does the arranging on "Dig A Little Deeper," where the tenor sax serves as propulsion. "When It Don't Come Easy," goes into that magic place where gospel meets soul at the rivers' edge, Collier revealing her powerful voice. The sax comes back with a vengeance to kick off "Two Parts Sugar, One Part Lime," a barn burner with great honky-tonk piano by Charles Hodges leading into a howling sax solo.

In one of the few covers, U-2's "When Love Comes To Town," retains its rock roots, but is taken for a bluesy ride. Adhering to the original arrangement, the classic R&B heartbreaker, You're Gonna Make Me Cry," is where Collier's voice really shines, for it is in these wrenching ballads that the true singer in her comes out. It's back to the jukejoint on "Whiskey And Women," a rollicking honker where she is obviously right at home. The syncopated back beat of New Orleans is the foundation for "Meet Me Where I'm At," and "Cry Out," takes it back to the funk. The sanctified Sister Rosetta Tharpe hymn "Up Above My Head, I Hear Music In The Air," retains its sacred inclination, and spirals up to the pearly gates.

The record ends with the pensive "Devil's On The Downslide," a soulful ballad where Collier again proves that she has an emotional maturity in her voice well beyond her years. Combine that with her other attributes, and Meeting My Shadow is proof that rhythm and blues is alive and well, and in good hands.

Track Listing: Poisoned The Well; Dig A Little Deeper; When It Don’t Come Easy; Two Parts Sugar, One Part Lime; When Love Comes To Town; You’re Gonna Make Me Cry; Whiskey And Women; Meet Me Where I’m At; Cry Out; Up Above My Head, I Hear Music In The Air; Devil’s On The Downside.

Personnel: Vanessa Collier: vocals, alto, soprano, and tenor sax; flute (1), Fender Rhodes (1), Wurlitzer (1, 3, 11), clavinet (1), percussion (1), organ (2), Shuitar (3); TK Jackson: drums, percussion, organ (5), backing vocals; Daniel McKee: bass; Laura Chavez: guitar, resonator guitar; Charles Hodges: organ (3, 9, 10, 11), clavinet (3, 9), piano ( 4, 8, 10), Wurlitzer (9); Marc Franklin: trumpet, flugelhorn; Josh Roberts: slide guitar (3, 5); Brenda Jackson: organ (6); Lenny Bradford: bass (1); Nicholas Stevens: drums (1).

Title: Meeting My Shadow | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Ruf Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jun1Sat
Vanessa Collier
Levoy Theatre
Millville, NJ
Jun2Sun
Vanessa Collier
Rams Head On Stage
Annapolis, MD
$25
Jun21Fri
Vanessa Collier
Rhythm Room
Phoenix, AZ
Jun28Fri
Vanessa Collier
Biscuits And Blues
San Francisco, CA
Jun29Sat
Vanessa Collier
Arena Theater
Point Arena, CA
Jul13Sat
Vanessa Collier
Briggs Farm Blues Festival
Nescopeck, PA
Jul25Thu
Vanessa Collier
World Cafe Live
Philadelphia, PA

Related Articles

Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Reckless Heart Album Reviews
Reckless Heart
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Fire Brigade Album Reviews
Fire Brigade
By Phillip Woolever
May 25, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019