For her third effort as a soloist, Mid-Atlantic singer Sue Matthews has opted to go with an agenda of standards, show tunes and traditional pop, all of which of she sings with an innate appreciation of intimacy and savoir-faire, mixing some blues inflection and torch where it makes sense. She also has a way about her that gives one a warm, cuddly feeling after listening to her do something like "Down with Love" where she gets a big assist from veteran bassist Keter Betts and long time Washington, D. C. guitarist, Steve Abshire. The same two show up for a rueful, blueful version of "Rocks in My Bed". At the same time, Matthews can wrench at your heart strings with a lovely Stephen Sondheim "Losing My Mind" from Follies. Another heart twister, "Here's to Life" is countered by a folk like "Caledonia" done A Capella showing her Irish roots which is also offset by a down and dirty, Sophie Tucker like "Wild Women Don't Get the Blues". Matthews does all of these wonderful vocal things with on the mark articulation, phrasing that's attuned to the meaning and direction of the lyrics. She has the ability to use her band members to her best advantage. For instance, she hones in on the melodically rich and lyrically tender "My Romance" with strong and equal participation from pianist Stefan Scaggiari as well as trading phrases with guitarist Gerry Kunkel. Because of her willingness to share the song, musicians must like to work with her putting her in a class of vocalists that a Helen Merrill belongs to. This album is highly recommended.
To learn more about Matthews, visit her web site at www.suematthewsmusic.com.
Track Listing: My Romance; On My Way to You; Rocks in My Bed; Down with Love; Here's to Life; Imagine That; Caledonia; Wild Women Don't Get the Blues; How Insensitive; One at a Time; Losing My Mind; Amazing Grace
Personnel: Sue Matthews - Vocals; Stefan Scaggiari - Piano; Keter Betts, Viktor Dvoskin - Bass; Steve Abshire, Gerry Kunkel - Guitar; Frank Russo - Drums
I met Erroll Garner at The Theatrical Grill in Cleveland a few hours before our family was to see him on stage at Severance Hall. That was 45 years ago and I was only 15! I spotted him nearby in a booth wearing a beautiful tux with a great white napkin draped over him! I was a little nervous as I approached him (he was eating shrimp cocktail) and said, Mr
I met Erroll Garner at The Theatrical Grill in Cleveland a few hours before our family was to see him on stage at Severance Hall. That was 45 years ago and I was only 15! I spotted him nearby in a booth wearing a beautiful tux with a great white napkin draped over him! I was a little nervous as I approached him (he was eating shrimp cocktail) and said, Mr. Garner, I love playing the piano... is there any advice you could give me?'' He hesitated, then looked back at me and said, Keep playin' and don't stop!'' That was great advice because at 60 years old, I'm still playin' and haven't stopped!