All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

556

Nicki Parrott: Moon River

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
It seems, according to some unwritten rule, that most female jazz instrumentalists sooner or later record a vocal album or two. Unfortunately, on these recordings, often passable vocal skills take precedence over superior instrumental talent. Perhaps this is intended to meet the demands of the commercial market, with bassist Nicki Parrott's Moon River a prime example. From the sexy cover photo to the listing of all the songs' lyrics in the booklet (all except one are well-known jazz standards), to limiting her bass playing to a minimum and placing her Blossom Dearie-influenced vocals at the forefront, Moon River appears designed for the more pop-oriented crossover market.

Those familiar with Parrott's work on her superb The Awabakal Suite (parrotmusic, 2001) know her as a superlative bassist, an adventurous composer, and an accomplished improviser. On Moon River, she still solos superbly, but alas, only on two songs, and for only a few choruses at a time. There are, however, a few instances of her delightful comping mixed in with the other instruments.

The focus is, without a doubt, on Parrott's Dearie-like vocals. Even the only original song, "Nicki's Blues," with its risque lyrics, has a melody and cadence very reminiscent of "Blossom's Blues" from Blossom Dearie (Verve, 1957). The rest of the musicians on the date are excellent, but also limit their improvisations to the melody, without venturing far from the theme; hearing saxophonist Harry Allen and drummer Billy Drummond at less than their full potential is a shame.

The recording is impeccable and the sound flawless; even on an average piece of stereo equipment, there's a remarkable feeling of immediacy. A pleasant CD that requires little from the listener, and can function almost as mood music, it's a shame that such a talented bassist has to resort to average singing skills rather than superior musicianship in order to make a commercially viable recording.

Track Listing: Moon River; Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby?; Say It Isn't So; You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To; Takin' A Chance On Love; I Don't Know Enough About You; Makin' Whoopee; Cry Me A River; What A Difference A Day Made; Besame Mucho; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; Nicki's Blues; The More I See You.

Personnel: Nicki Parrott: vocal & bass; Harry Allen: tenor sax; John Di Martino: piano; Paul Myers: guitar; Billy Drummond: drums.

Title: Moon River | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Venus Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)

Let's Do It (Let's Fall in Love)

Nicki Parrott
People Will Say We're In Love

CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
 

Autumn Leaves

Venus Records
2012

buy
 

Sakura Sakura

Venus Records
2012

buy
 

Summertime

Venus Records
2012

buy
 

Black Coffee

Venus Records
2010

buy
 

Fly Me To The Moon

Venus Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Brothers CD/LP/Track Review
Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read The Fearless Flyers CD/LP/Track Review
The Fearless Flyers
by John Bricker
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Super Mood CD/LP/Track Review
Super Mood
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 24, 2018
Read Beheaded Totem CD/LP/Track Review
Beheaded Totem
by James Fleming
Published: September 24, 2018
Read New Hope CD/LP/Track Review
New Hope
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2018
Read The Nobuki Takamen Trio CD/LP/Track Review
The Nobuki Takamen Trio
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 23, 2018
Read "No Fast Food" CD/LP/Track Review No Fast Food
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 6, 2018
Read "Dirigo Rataplan II" CD/LP/Track Review Dirigo Rataplan II
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "Heartscape" CD/LP/Track Review Heartscape
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: October 8, 2017
Read "Back to the Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Back to the Sunset
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 6, 2018
Read "New Devices" CD/LP/Track Review New Devices
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 14, 2018
Read "The Ferryman's Curse" CD/LP/Track Review The Ferryman's Curse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 3, 2018