On the jazz scene for more than 15 years, Tina May is one of UK's premiere jazz vocal virtuosos. In a country which can boast of important contributors to the art of jazz vocalizing, this is not faint praise. Along with Carol Kidd, Claire Martin, Annie Ross and British diva, Norma Winstone, among others, May has become a major mainstay of contemporary jazz singing. Having the reputation of "doing it her way," May looks to a wide variety of sources for the material she records, including jazz standards, originals, ethnic material and contemporary pop/rock. May is also comfortable with a variety of singing styles making her a complete jazz singer. She is at ease with vocalese, cabaret, improvisation, etc., possessing a delightful, pure English voice which fits very nicely with the material she works with. That One Fine Day
is her seventh album for England's 33Jazz label testifies to her success in the way she approaches the music.
The set kicks off with the piquant "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and seques into a boppish "One Fine Day" with a notable soprano saxophone solo from Alan Barnes behind May's wordless vocal. Ballad skills are brought to bear on a medium tempo "I'll Be Seeing You" which reached number one on the charts for Bing Crosby many years ago. Again, there's a conspicuous sax solo from Barnes, this time on tenor. Mays turns hipster on "Bop `til You Drop (Bop People)" for which she wrote the words. Again displaying her willingness to handle different material and backed by Barnes' clarinet, she does an A.E. Housman poem put to music by John Ireland on "The Vain Desire." This is followed by a modern Chick Corea/Tony Cohen work, "The Aerialist." This track features some over-dubbed scatting by May behind alto sax work by the ubiquitous Mr. Barnes.
Throughout the album, May gets strong support from her fellow performers. Barnes on one reed or another, is present on almost every cut. Nikki IIes' piano is another source of strength for May. Iles is especially prominent on "Whaley Whaley." Nowhere on the album is the purity of May's voice and phrasing more obvious than on this cut, an anonymously written Irish sounding folk song. The other two members of the rhythm session, Messrs. Hutton and Morton, are not asked to do much more than maintain the beat, a task they perform with distinction. One Fine Day is excellent work and highly recommended. Visit Tina May at her web site at www.tinamay.f9.co.uk.
<|B>Tracks:Pure Imagination; One Fine Day; Make Someone Happy; I'll Be Seeing You; Bop `til You Drop (Bop People); Spring Is Here; S`Wonderful; The Vain Desire; The Aerialist; Whaley Whaley <|B>
Personnel: Pure Imagination; One Fine Day; Make Someone Happy; I'll Be Seeing You; Bop `til You Drop (Bop People); Spring Is Here; S`Wonderful; The Vain Desire; The Aerialist; Whaley Whaley <|B>Tina May - Vocals; Nikki lles-Piano; Alan Barnes-Saxophones/Clarinet; Mick Hutton-Bass; Simon Morton-Drums
| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream