It's nice to see an old friend coming home to jazz. After building herself a considerable reputation as a jump-swing, pianist/vocalist Jo Thompson has returned after a 30 year hiatus during which she raised a family. She has lost none of the pizzazz which characterized her performances when she was one of the few jazz singers leading the Noble Sissel big band in the 1950's. This album fills a major gap in her performing history. Up to now, she never recorded on her own. But she more than makes up for this on her debut recording. Joined by some of the top jazz sidemen and ensemble players, Thompson runs through a play list liberally peppered with an intelligent, entertaining mix of jazz, pop and swing, mostly delivered with a fast pitched style guaranteed to keep toes tapping and hips shaking. On "If I Could Be With You", she joins with a member of the trumpet section for a give and take delivery of this 1926 tune. She then turns on the bar room piano for the Johnny Ray special "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" and Nellie Lutcher's "Fine Brown Frame" with a touch of the Mae West "come up and see me sometime big boy" attitude.
Thomas Wolfe once wrote "You Can't Go Home Again". Jo Thompson has just issued a CD which says "that just ain't so baby."
Track Listing: Slender, Tender and Tall; Walking My Baby; Fine Brown Frame; Peel Me a
grape; If I Could Be with You; I Love to Love; Shine Stockings; Just
Squeeze Me; Up a Lazy River; Pennies from Heaven; Million Dollar Secret
Personnel: Jo Thompson - Piano/Vocals; Ed Pizant - Alto Sax; Lance Bryant, Benny
Russell - Tenor sax; Pablo Calogero - Baritone Sax; Roger Ingram, Steve
Wiseman, Jon Erik Kellso - Trumpet; Charles Stephens, Tom Sullivan -
Trombone; Chris Olness - Bass Trombone; Darryl Hall -Bass; Jon Knust -
Drums; Jimmy Stewart - Guitar
I love jazz because it is simply a music of my heart since I was about 12 years old.
I was first exposed to jazz when I heard Sonny Boy Williamson play harmonica. My introduction to jazz went through blues music.