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
152

Trudy Kerr and Ingrid James: Reunion

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count Views
Trudy Kerr and Ingrid James: Reunion Two talented vocalists, top-class musicians, inspired song selections, a few new lyrics and a genuinely original set of arrangements come together to make Reunion: a fresh-sounding and charming album from Australian singers Trudy Kerr and Ingrid James. Kerr, based in London since 1990, and James have been friends for many years. Each of them has toured and recorded extensively but surprisingly, given the obvious empathy between them, this is their first recording together.

Kerr and James' voices are distinctive and complementary. James—who appears in the left channel—has the slightly brighter, more crystalline, voice. Kerr, using the right channel, has a softer edge to her voice that gives her sound greater sensuality. Neither is a bluesy shouter, but apart from that they have pretty much all of the vocal bases covered.

The singers have delved into contemporary song, jazz standards, '70s soft-rock and even the Australian tradition to create Reunion. Songs by Steve Allen and Bob Dorough represent the standards. Allen's "This Could be the Start of Something Big" kicks off the album with a superb duet and a swinging arrangement inspired by Jon Hendricks. Dorough's "Baby You Should Know It" has a slinky groove that's heightened by the vocal delivery from both singers.

There is a strong sense of humor pervading the album, too. It's typified by "Soft Shoe:" the arrangement is based on the original, from composer Gerry Mulligan's Quartet, but Kerr and James extend the shoe theme by vocalizing about their favorite footwear—James sings lovingly of her Jimmy Choos, Kerr describes a bewildering array of styles and finishes, Sebastiaan de Krom's brushes create a well-fitting shuffle beat while Geoff Gascoyne underpins the vocals with, of course, a funky walking bass line.

A slightly darker edge to the humor appears on "A Little Crazy"—Bud Powell's "Un Poco Loco" with added lyrics from Kerr that were inspired by fictional serial killer Dexter. Tom Cawley's piano solo is terrific—light, delicate and bouncy. There's also a version of "Waltzing Matilda." The song has been called Australia's unofficial National Anthem, so its inclusion isn't surprising, but it is a bit of an oddity. The tale of swagmen, billabongs, tucker bags and jumbucks is given a romantic ballad-style arrangement which hints at hitherto unimagined sexual undertones.

The loveliest song on the album is "When My Anger Starts to Cry," by Beate Lech of Norwegian band Beady Belle. Kerr and James stick very closely to Beady Belle's own arrangement of this haunting composition. Their voices capture the sadness and the mystery of the song's imagery perfectly: Gascoyne, de Krom and Cawley create an ideal musical atmosphere.

Reunion is immediately enjoyable: everyone on the album sounds like they were having fun and this readily translates to the performances. The vocal partnership between Kerr and James is delightful—a second reunion will hopefully be on the cards soon.


Track Listing: This Could be the Start of Something Big; Baby You Should Know It; You're Everything; Soft Shoe; A Little Crazy; Finding Beauty; When My Anger Starts to Cry; Girl Talk; Way Over Yonder/So Far Away; Cry No More; Dancing on the Ceiling; Art Deco; Waltzing Matilda.

Personnel: Trudy Kerr: vocals; Ingrid James: vocals; Tom Cawley: piano; Geoff Gascoyne: bass; Sebastiaan de Krom: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Jazzizit


Related Video

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Contemplation
Contemplation
Jazzizit
2015
buy
The Rhythm of Life; Ted And Gladys
The Rhythm of Life;...
Jazzizit
2013
buy
Reunion
Reunion
Jazzizit
2010
buy
Cloudburst
Cloudburst
Jazzizit
2005
buy
[no cover]
Trudy
Jazzizit Records
1998
buy
Carolyn Leonhart Carolyn Leonhart
vocalist
Terry Gibbs Terry Gibbs
vibraphone
Roseanna Vitro Roseanna Vitro
vocalist
Adam Rudolph Adam Rudolph
percussion
Jamie Baum Jamie Baum
flute
Ian Shaw Ian Shaw
vocalist
Tina May Tina May
vocalist
Anita Wardell Anita Wardell
vocalist

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.