Teraesa Vinson sings her program from the heart with a genuine air. She convinces. As an experienced storyteller, she puts you right in the lap of each experience. "Being Green, for example, carries a wider meaning than what you hear on the surface. In Vinson's care, its lyrics stretch out to cover it all. The same is true for her sensual ballads and up-tempo swingers.
Working in a duo format with guitarist Tom Dempsey for this, her second recording, the singer has opted for a cross-section of material, from Ellington and Jobim to Stevie Wonder and Oscar Brown, Jr. Her program and her musical format are designed for intimacy. She delivers the message clearly while Dempsey provides exemplary accompaniment. Together, they establish a comfortable blues aura that surrounds their performance with class.
Vinson remains comfortable with all kinds of songs. "Ribbon in the Sky introduces built-up emotions, while "Just Squeeze Me saunters idly through swing. McCoy Tyner's "You Taught My Heart to Sing brings tears to the eye, while Dempsey's "Next to You settles in comfortably with cool passion. Vinson has mastered each mood accurately and musically. She and Dempsey keep most their session mellow and laid back. The comfort allows them to deliver meaning naturally.
Old Devil Moon stands out with an emotional surge as the session's high point. Here, singer and guitarist turn it up a notch through tension and release. Their balance points them in the direction of cohesive success as the two intertwine naturally. Vinson and Dempsey share a deep love for the music that comes reflected in each interpretation.
Track Listing: Nobody Else But Me; Next to You; Opportunity Please Knock; Foolish Heart; Triste; You Taught My Heart to Sing; My, How the Time Goes By; I Remember You; Ribbon in the Sky; Just Squeeze Me; Old Devil Moon; Bein
Personnel: Teraesa Vinson: vocals; Tom Dempsey: guitar.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.