This is the second album from singer Carolyn Leonhart, who also worked with the re-formed Steely Dan in the '90s providing harmony vocals. She is also the daughter of veteran bassist/composer and occasional vocalist Jay Leonhart.
The album alternates between originals and standards. Leonhart has a definite edge to her delivery, only letting her guard down on the second, and preferred, half of this album. On the opening original "Noneday," I hear traces of Sheila Jordan in Leonhart's vocal. Her performance is spurred on by tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, who contributes several gritty solos and obbligatos on "Noneday" and the Benny Golson tune "Whisper Not." The latter tune is taken for a more aggressive delivery than we're used to hearing.
Beginning with Billy Strayhorn's "Daydream," including an opening verse, there is a more shaded aspect to her vocals. On "If I Should Lose You," Leonhart wisely plays to the lyricism of words and music and features a long piano solo from Rick Germanson. An original, "Home," Jobim's "Photograph," and a low key "Moonriver" are far more introspective and effective. Strong playing by bassist Hans Glawischnig is another highlight of the album.
Track Listing: Noneday, I'm In The Mood For Love, No Moonlight, Sometimes I Think, Whisper Not, Daydream, If I Should Lose You, Home, Photograph, Moonriver.
Personnel: Carolyn Leonhart,vocals; Wayne Escoffery, tenor sax; Rick Germanson, piano; Hans Glawischnig, bass; Donald Edwards or Jason Brown, drums.
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.