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Lisa Rich: There Was A Delay


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In the 1980s the singer Lisa Rich seemed on her way to a long and successful career. She was featured with symphony orchestras and her recordings received enthusiastic reviews from critics including Leonard Feather in The Los Angeles Times. She was on the Jazz Times national airplay chart for fifteen weeks. In 1985, she became one of the rare American jazz artists to perform in China and India. She recorded the successful album Touch Of The Rare with Clare Fischer, the pianist and arranger then making a mark for his work with Cal Tjader, Dizzy Gillespie and the Hi-Los, among others.

Ms. Rich recorded Highwire in 1987. For reasons not disclosed by Tritone Records, the album was not released for 32 years. Her version of Chick Corea’s “Bud Powell” makes one wonder why.

According to her publicity, Ms. Rich “recently remixed and is releasing the album for the first time–sounding as fresh as ever.” Her performance justifies the claim of freshness. Tritone’s album notes and press release information do not explain whether the rhythm section accompanying the singer was with her on the original session or recently added. It doesn’t matter. Pianist Marc Copland, basssist Drew Gress and drummer Michael Smith are attuned to her in every respect. The repertoire includes five Chick Corea compositions, among them “The Jinn” “Bud Powell” and “Stardancer.” The album also has her moving versions of the classic standard song “We’ll Be Together Again and “Ornette Coleman’s “Lonely Woman.”

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