Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
164

Barbara Sfraga: Oh, What A Thrill

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count Views
More Vocals. Gail Wynter's My Shining Hour and Jackie Allen's Which? precede Barbara Sfraga’s addition to the Naxos Jazz Vocal Jazz coffers. All of these vocal collections have their charm. All are quite different.

Sfraga begins her disc in a most unorthodox way: by setting the Jerry Lee Lewis chestnut, “Great Balls of Fire” in a quasi blues, jazz, rock setting that while quite effective, never really reaches the mark. She does better with the coupling of “Angel Eyes” and the Clapton Classic “Sunshine Of Your Love” where John Hebert lays down a steady propelling pulse under an insinuating Bruce Saunders guitar. This is the sexiest piece on a sexy disc. “Good Morning Heartache” is as much a reinvention of the Holiday standard as it is a cover. She sings in an angular fashion over Saunders’ weaving guitar in a lightly rocking rhythm.

Sfraga’s voice is a sensuous amalgam that migrates from a low croon to a light as a feather breeze. Her style is immediately sensual, a super mood maker. She purrs with dense intent throughout this collection. A really halting tone.

The highlights of this disc are the pieces on which ballademeister Fred Hersch provides piano support. Check out the most fine “Miss Harper goes to the Bizarre," “I Didn’t Know What Time it Was,” and “I’ll Call You.” This is what makes an already decent disc truly worth while. Mark Murphy shows up for a duet with Sfraga on “I’ll Call You.”

All in all, Barbara Sfraga offers the greatest sex appeal in the Naxos Jazz cabinet. Not better than the Wynters or Allen discs, just sexier.


Track Listing: Introduction; Great Balls of Fire; Miss Harper Goes Bizarre; Livin

Personnel: Barbara Sfraga: Vocals; Bruce Sanders;: Guitars; David Berkman: Piano; John Hebert: Bass; Eric Halvorson: Drums; Fred Hersch: Piano; Mark Murphy: Vocals.

Year Released: 2003 | Style: Vocal


CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Nite & Disk
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Timelessness Frozen In Time
Timelessness Frozen...
Self Produced
2007
buy
Under The Moon
Under The Moon
A440 Music
2004
buy
Under The Moon
Under The Moon
A440 Music
2003
buy
Eric Dolphy Eric Dolphy
reeds
Paul Motian Paul Motian
drums
Al Cohn Al Cohn
sax, tenor
Dena DeRose Dena DeRose
piano
James Zollar James Zollar
trumpet
Arthur Blythe Arthur Blythe
sax, alto
Jackie Ryan Jackie Ryan
vocalist
Jeremy Steig Jeremy Steig
flute
John Hart John Hart
guitar

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.