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For her first trip to the studio as the featured attraction, singer Trudi Mann has put together a roster of tunes that avoid obvious choices. Possessing a deep, husky voice recalling Teddi King, Mann puts her own imprimatur on each of the tunes she presents. She's bouncy on "You Came a Long Way" from St. Louis, alluringly romantic on Burt Barcharach's "Winter Warm", and appropriately plaintive on the rather obscure but pretty Tommy Wolf/Fran Landesman "There Are Days When I Don't Think of You at all". A landmark of the CD are the tracks where she employs Meredith d'Ambrosio's device of creating a jazz solo by doing a play on the lyrics of a familiar melody, often quoting lyrics from other related songs. The two tunes selected for this clever coupling are "Oh, Look at Me Now" and "Dearly Beloved". If imitation is the highest form of compliment, D'Ambrosio's ears should be burning since Mann pulls this off as if she has been doing it all of her professional life. This is solid jazz singing. Mann employs some of her inventive devices as she introduces "When October Goes" with a few lines from Autumn Leaves.
The singer dabbles in all the important vocal categories associated, albeit sometimes loosely, with jazz, except for the blues. There's cabaret, Vocalese and straight ahead singing and in all cases, tasteful and good-natured. While there's plenty of expressiveness in the presentation there's no attempt to confuse matters by scatting, swooping or the like. Mann comes from that school of singers who have great respect for composers whose lyrics they borrow to make their own for a short time. The trio on the set is as about as perfectly attuned to the singer as possible. Especially supportive is the piano of Tedd Firth taking an accompanist's line reminiscent of Jimmy Rowles. This is a fine maiden effort and is recommended. This CD can be obtained by e-mailing Mann at the above or through All Music Services at Michael@allmusicservices.com.
Track Listing: There Are Days When I Don't Think of You at All; You Came a Long Way from St. Louis; When October Goes; Dearly Beloved/Clearly Beloved; The Gypsy in My Soul; Not Exactly Paris; The Girlfriend of the Whirling Dervish; The Real Thing; Too Old to Die Young; Winter Warm; Oh, Look at Me Now/But Now Look at Me; A Quiet Little Table in the Corner; Stompin' at the Savoy/Tuxedo Junction; Four
Personnel: Trudi Mann - Vocals; Tedd Firth - Piano; Saadi Zain - Bass; Sunny Jain - Drums
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.