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...


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



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.

Album Reviews
Read more articles


Artistry Music



Chesky Records


Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Macy Gray
Parker Playhouse
Ft Lauderdale, FL

Related Articles

Read These Wicked Things Album Reviews
These Wicked Things
By Mark Sullivan
March 26, 2019
Read The Silent Wish Album Reviews
The Silent Wish
By Don Phipps
March 26, 2019
Read Day After Day Album Reviews
Day After Day
By Mark Corroto
March 26, 2019
Read Gnomes and Badgers Album Reviews
Gnomes and Badgers
By Doug Collette
March 26, 2019
Read Chris Trinidad's Chant Triptych II Album Reviews
Chris Trinidad's Chant Triptych II
By Chris M. Slawecki
March 26, 2019
Read Our Story Album Reviews
Our Story
By Troy Dostert
March 25, 2019
Read Influences Album Reviews
By Don Phipps
March 25, 2019