Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

207

Mary Stallings: Remember Love

By

Sign in to view read count
Starting with Concord Jazz in the '90s and continuing with MaxJazz and now Half Note Records, Mary Stallings's talents have finally been revealed.

On Remember Love, she is abetted by a stellar band, including pianist Geri Allen (who also provides arrangements and serves as producer), drummer Billy Hart, Frank Wess on tenor and flute, trumpeter Wallace Roney, and alto saxophonist Vincent Herring. Stallings sings well and stays focused, avoiding a distracting habit of singing the wrong words. She seems to relish the lyrics of Henry Mancini's "Moment to Moment as well as Allen's Latin-inflected setting. The gorgeous "Dindi, however, never finds its focus.

Like the great Etta Jones, Stallings is at her best as a flat-footed (Jones' apt term for her own sorely missed art), straight-shooting raconteur of love lost and found. As if to prove this point, with just Darryl Hall's bass, she smokes "Centerpiece, and she outswings the curiously restrained band on "I Just Found Out About Love.

The band seems reluctant to let loose, creating an atmosphere far too somber at times. The rough-and-tumble accompaniment of Gene Harris and Monty Alexander on previous sessions is missing here. And, because of this restraint, there is too much of one mood. Songs like Shania Twain's "Still the One and "Stuck in a Dream, although nicely sung, fail to take off.

One of the session's finest moments comes, however, when Stallings stands "Funny Not Much on its head, eschewing the usual slow tempo for a bracing stroll. Likewise, she negotiates the rhythmic shifts of "There Is No Greater Love skillfully. Allen's organ solo is thoughtful and restrained.

"Hello Yesterday and "Why Should There Be Stars showcase her art so well as she lingers over blue-hued melodies, singing of lost loves. This type of singing, almost a forgotten art today, is not merely a lesson in nostalgia, but a reminder of the continuing importance of tradition in jazz. Here the arrangements lovingly frame the singer, and Wess and Roney carefully caress her declarations.

Stallings takes the long-honored blues-ballad approach, shows she is not afraid to swing hard, and revitalizes a venerable tradition in jazz singing.

Track Listing: What A Difference A Day Makes; No Greater Love; Hello Yesterday; Centerpiece; Moment to Moment; Dindi; Remember Love; Lucky to Be Me; I Just Found Out About Love; Make Me Rainbows; Why Should There Be Stars; Still the One; Stuck in a Dream; Funny Not Much; What A Difference Makes.

Personnel: Mary Stallings: vocals; Geri Allen: piano, organ; Darryl Hall: bass; Billy Hart: drums; Frank Wess: tenor saxophone, flute; Vincent Herring: alto saxophone; Wallace Roney: trumpet.

Title: Remember Love | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Half Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Upcoming Shows

Related Articles

Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By Karl Ackermann
May 22, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Dan Bilawsky
May 22, 2019
Read Infinite Itinerant Album Reviews
Infinite Itinerant
By Geno Thackara
May 22, 2019
Read Pulcino Album Reviews
Pulcino
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 22, 2019
Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019