All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

241

Jessica Molaskey: Sitting in Limbo

By

Sign in to view read count
Singer Jessica Molaskey's fourth album, Sitting in Limbo, has been well received. She is guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli's wife, and together they have won the New York City Nightlife Award for "Best Musical Duo" in both 2007 and 2008.



Molaskey is a very polished vocalist whose specialty is Broadway musicals, currently appearing in a revival of Stephen Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George, which opened in Manhattan in February, 2008. Her jazz credentials are enhanced by her frequent appearances and recordings such as this one, with her husband's working combo, but she is really an artist even more comfortable in a theatrical or cabaret setting. A similar comparison could be made for the late career of Rosemary Clooney, who was re-invented by Concord Records during the last two decades of her life, through her many jazz-associated albums. However, even Clooney came from a big band setting prior to her string of pop hits in the 1950s.



Sitting in Limbo is a thematic album, using the lyrics of Jimmy Cliff's title tune to reflect a place "between heaven and hell" with an interesting choice of mostly pop material. On Paul Simon's "Hearts and Bones," based upon an autobiographical lyric that reflects upon Simon's failed marriage and a journey to New Mexico with actress/writer Carrie Fisher (."..One and one-half wandering Jews, Free to wander wherever they choose..."). Billy Joel's "Summer, Highland Falls" is interleaved with Jobim's uncredited "Tristeza," with the word "sadness" appearing in both songs but with different meanings.

An important part of the Molaskey/Pizzarelli performances—live or in studio—is their interrelated duets. Here two Vincent Youman/ Irving Caesar tunes—"I Want to Be Happy" and "Sometimes I'm Happy"—are sung by each of the vocalists. Elsewhere, Molaskey renders Joni Mitchell's "The Circle Game" while Pizzarelli does Jobim's vocally complex "Waters of March." Finally, Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken" is sung alongside the Pizzarelli/Molaskey original "I Woke Up One Early Morning." All of these tunes represent contrasting views that are reflected in Jimmy Cliff's lyrics on the title tune: "..I don't know where life will take me, but I know where I've been..."

Pizzarelli's group is augmented by pianist/organist Larry Goldings on half of the selections (in lieu of Larry Fuller) and the presence of the always dependable and lyrical tenor saxophonist, Harry Allen. Bassist Martin Pizzarelli and drummer Tony Tedesco complete the roster.

Disregarding labels and sub-genres, this is Jessica Molaskey's finest album in terms of concept and execution.


Track Listing: Sitting In Limbo; Heavy Cloud No Rain; Summer,Highland Falls; Ooh Child; I Want to be Happy/Sometimes I'm Happy; There Will Never Be Another You; Knowing You; I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself A Letter; The Circle Game/Waters of March; Walkin' After Midnight; Hearts and Bones; Morning Has Broken/I Woke Up One Early Morning.

Personnel: Jessica Molaskey: vocals; John Pizzarelli: guitar, vocals; Larry Goldings: piano and organ (1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12); Larry Fuller: piano (3, 5-7, 9, 10); Martin Pizzarelli: bass; Tony Tedesco:drums; Harry Allen: saxophone.

Title: Sitting in Limbo | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: PS Classics

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Portraits of Joni

Portraits of Joni

Ghostlight Records
2017

buy
At The Algonquin

At The Algonquin

Arbors Records
2012

buy
A Kiss to Build a Dream On

A Kiss to Build a...

Arbors Records
2008

buy
Sitting in Limbo

Sitting in Limbo

PS Classics
2008

buy
Make Believe

Make Believe

P.S. Classics
2004

buy
Pentimento

Pentimento

PS Classics
2002

buy

Related Articles

Read Jazz Tango CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Tango
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read The Berlin Concert CD/LP/Track Review
The Berlin Concert
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 18, 2018
Read IMA IMA CD/LP/Track Review
IMA IMA
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Breathe CD/LP/Track Review
Breathe
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Good Music CD/LP/Track Review
Good Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Stillness & Sirens CD/LP/Track Review
Stillness & Sirens
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 17, 2018
Read "25th Anniversary Project" CD/LP/Track Review 25th Anniversary Project
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 22, 2018
Read "Official Bootleg: Live in Chicago, June 28th, 2017" CD/LP/Track Review Official Bootleg: Live in Chicago, June 28th, 2017
by John Kelman
Published: October 12, 2017
Read "If You Have a Dream" CD/LP/Track Review If You Have a Dream
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Tempe Jetz" CD/LP/Track Review Tempe Jetz
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "Travelers" CD/LP/Track Review Travelers
by John Kelman
Published: May 18, 2018
Read "One of a Kind" CD/LP/Track Review One of a Kind
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 3, 2017