The true beauty of any Beegie Adair recording is that it will be straight down the middle mainstream jazz. It is money in the bank. Adair's 50-year career has found her leading her jazz trio, writing advertising jingles and accompanying vocalists, as she does on the present Monica Ramey and the Beegie Adair Trio. Ramey, a native of the midwest, take a predictably conservative approach to the Great American Songbook. Her doing so does us the favor of reminding us of jazz's most sturdy and enduring legacies, the assimilation and transformation of Tin Pan Alley and Show Tunes into the fabric of the American music vernacular.
Ramey and Adair together create a certain low-key synergy, something like the momentum achieved when a large object starts to move. That large object is the repertoire and the singer and pianist have launched it against a zero coefficient of friction making the music seem to float regardless of its historic baggage. The tempi are breezy to brisk and the arrangements are dependable. The additions of trumpeter George Tidwell and saxophonist Denis Solee are well placed in the overall scheme of the recording. This is a very able recording to remind us of the simple pleasure of cocktail hour jazz: not too demanding and superbly played.
Track Listing: As Long As I Live; I Thought About You; I’ll Close My Eyes; Witchcraft;
This Could Be The Start of Something Big; Change Partners; Oh! Look At
Me Now; Lullaby Of The Leaves; Fly Away; You Fascinate Me So; Whisper
Not; It Amazes Me; Will You Still Be Mine?; Why Did I Choose You?
Personnel: Monica Ramey: vocals; Beegie Adair: piano; Roger Spencer: bass; Chris
Brown: drums; George Tidwell: trumpet, flugelhorn; Denis Solee:
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.