Now comes another entry on the expanding female vocalist register with New York's Linda Ciofalo's first album featuring a program of standards and contemporary pop sprinkled with two of her originals. Ciofalo exhibits a high degree of vocal versatility and flexibility with a variety of singing styles. On Cyndi Lauper's contemporary adult pop tune "Time After Time" she assumes that disillusioned, bored-with-the-world stance that seems to shape the delivery of today's pop singers. Her own "Lost Ticket Blues" is a swinging blues number with Wayne Schuster's saxophone wailing behind her. Like country western? Well, it's here with some rhythm & blues thrown in on "Friday Night," the other Ciofalo original. Her voice takes on the twang of a country western singer while Schuster's sax meanders down the R&B road making for an appealing confluence of genre. Up-tempo is represented especially by "You Do Something to Me" and, with a Latin beat thrown in, Abbey Lincoln's "Throw It Away." The latter spotlights the piano of Mike Capoblanco and the guitar of Steve Salerno.
And on it goes. Ciofalo's voice turns tender for ballads, soulful for the blues, and sassy for almost everything. Despite all the shifting, she maintains good phrasing, has reasonable range, and avoids intonation problems. The musicians brought into the studio to work with her provide admirable support for the singer and there are some interesting arrangements. At the same time, there's nothing earth shattering or ground breaking about this album. There are many albums on the market these days competing with this one. A burden Take the High Road must carry is that it offers a scant 38 minutes of music. Visit Ms Ciofalo's home page at www.jazzsingers.com/lindaciofalo.
Tracks:You Do Something to Me; Throw It Away; Friday Nights; My One and Only Love; I've Got the World on a String; Show Me; Time after Time; I Can't Make You Help Me; Lost Ticket Blues; Someone to Watch over MePersonnelLinda Ciofalo - Vocals; Mike Capoblanco - Piano; Steve Salerno - Guitar/Bass; Bill McCrossen - Bass Guitar; Ken Rizzo - Bass Guitar; Ken Hasler - Drums/Percussion; Robin Lobe - Percussion; Frank Bellucci - Drums; Wayne Schuster - Saxophone
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.