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This release is the latest in a series of releases which now total five since Audrey Morris returned to the recording studio and performing at Chicago jazz venues after pausing in her career to raise a family. Always an intimate singer, she has become even more of a minimalist in her delivery. Like Jeri Southern, she can produce so much with so little apparent effort. The play list for this album is perfectly designed to draw attention to her special way with a song. There are some familiar classic standards that are very well done. But more interesting are the long forgotten gems which Morris has revived and burnished. "I Can't Escape from You" from the 1930s which was recorded by Shep Fields (remember old "rippling rhythm"). Then there's "April Played the Fiddle" which Sinatra recorded with Dorsey in 1940. Another lost song from the past "Humpty-Dumpty Heart" introduced by Kay Kyser in the film Playmates and is done with deep poignancy and melancholy. And the list goes on. One song after another is turned into a special story aimed at each listener individually. Another feature is that for many of the tunes, Morris sings the verse which acts as an introduction to a story. More singers should do this.
Morris is comfortably supported by two old friends from Chicago. On previous albums, Morris generally accompanied herself, like Southern, on the piano. Here she limits her piano activity to one cut, "You're Not So Easy to Forget". The rest of the time it's the sensitive piano of Joe Vito which becomes the exquisite wrapping on Audrey's vocal presents. Outstanding jazz violinist John Frigo helps sustain the mood created by this session. He comes out of the background shadows for lovely solos on "Street of Dreams" and "Imagination".
Audrey Morris successfully combines two seemingly irreconcilable emotions, tranquility and passion for a highly charismatic and charming 50 plus minutes of highly individualized vocalizing. The good news is that the albums on her label are available either from Amazon.com or through the Fancy Faire web site.
Track Listing: Imagination; Street of Dreams; I Don't Want to Cry Anymore; April Played the Fiddle; I Can't Escape from You; How Deep Is the Ocean; Humpty Dumpty Heart; Once in a While; Just Imagine; You're Not So Easy to Forget*; Round About
Personnel: Audrey Morris - Vocals/Piano*; Joe Vito - Piano; John Frigo - Violin
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com