All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

4

Macy Gray: Ruby

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
Despite selling 25 million records worldwide, Macy Gray classes herself an outsider. Asked about growing up in Canton, Ohio, she says: "I'm too tall, with a little head and big feet and this funny little voice. I didn't fit in and I still don't."

Though, now in her forties, she seems to have reached an accommodation with life, love and show business. Of Ruby, her latest album, she says simply: "I hope it makes people happy."

It certainly should. Gray's rasping, soulful voice gets to grips with 12 songs of the present day that reveal a growing maturity. In the opener, "Buddha," she counsels: If it's what you feel, my advice is that you show it, So baby cry, if you hide, how will I know it?. And in the closer, "Witness," she risks the ire of America's Faithful, with this admonishment to no less than Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself: Save us, like you promised to, Hey, no disrespect but I would fix it if I was you.

More importantly for subscribers to All About Jazz the question is likely to be: is this jazz? Gray says, "With my stuff there is always a jazz element. That is what I grew up on." This element is most apparent on "Tell Me," built around a line Cole Porter might have written: Am I reading too much into your touch?

But it's followed by "Sugar Daddy," which is unadulterated bubblegum and more than a trifle irritating. However, Gray redeems herself with "When It Ends," looking at life and love in the modern age.

"Just Like Jenny" is the sort of number Lennon and McCartney might have written back in the good bad old days—it's a lot of fun. The one thing that there isn't much of on this album is soul, and that's just as well. Despite all the many publicity shots emphasizing her colour and Afro hair-do, Gray lays no claim to be a soul singer.

Track Listing: Buddha; Cold World; Over You; White Man; Tell Me; Sugar Daddy; When It Ends; Just Like Jenny; Jealousy; Shinanigins; But He Loves Me; Witness.

Personnel: Macy Gray: vocals; Gary Clark Junior: guitar; Johan Carlsson, Thomas Lumpkins, Meghan Trainor, Tommy Brown, Scott Bruzenak, Britten Newbill: synthesizer; Billy Wesson, John Jackson Junior: piano; Mattias Bylund, Leah Zeager: strings; Mattias Johansson: violin; David Bukovinszky: cello; Christopher Johnson: trombone; Printz Board, Jan-Anders Bjerge, Stuart Cole: trumpet; Tim "Izo" Orindgreff: saxophone and flute; Wojtek Coral: saxophone; Tomas Jonsson: tenor sax; Peter Noos Johansson, Chris Johnson: trombone; Thomas Lumpkins, Austin Brown: xylophone; Michael Engstrom, Alex Kyne, Caleb Speir: bass; Austin Brown, Gabriel Santana, Trevor Lawrence Junior, Tamir Barzilay: drums.

Title: Ruby | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Artistry Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ruby

Ruby

Artistry Music
2018

buy
Stripped

Stripped

Chesky Records
2016

buy

Related Articles

Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read The Nook CD/LP/Track Review
The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations CD/LP/Track Review
Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Moments Before CD/LP/Track Review
Moments Before
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 22, 2018
Read From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD Blu Ray) CD/LP/Track Review
From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD...
by John Kelman
Published: September 22, 2018
Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "Atwood Suites" CD/LP/Track Review Atwood Suites
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "Body" CD/LP/Track Review Body
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2018
Read "Symbol Systems" CD/LP/Track Review Symbol Systems
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 11, 2018
Read "Live At The Magic Triangle" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Magic Triangle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Tales From The Dreaming City" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From The Dreaming City
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 30, 2018
Read "Again" CD/LP/Track Review Again
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 9, 2018