All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

2

Roseanna Vitro: Tell Me The Truth

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
It is completely fitting that vocalist Roseanna Vitro conceive of and release a recording devoted to the music of the American South. But, this is not just any thoughtlessly-assembled concept recording. Vitro is the master of intelligently programmed and produced thematic albums as evidenced by: Catching Some Rays: The Music of Ray Charles (Telarc, 1997); The Time of My Life: Roseanna Vitro Sings the Songs of Steve Allen (Seabreeze, 1999); Conviction: Thoughts of Bill Evans (A Records, 2001); The Delirium Blues Project: Serve or Suffer (Half Note Records, 2008); The Music of Randy Newman (Motema, 2011); and Clarity: Music of Clare Fischer (Random Act, 2014). At best, these are not subjects one would expect addressed on a jazz recording. That said, Vitro, and husband/producer Paul Wickliffe, have made a creative habit of envisioning and producing such unlikely, and well-executed projects.

A native of Hot Springs, Arkansas, Vitro is part of a rich local musical tradition that included Johnny Cash, Bob Dorough, Glenn Campbell, Al Green, Levon Helm, among others. Her Southern bona fides are beyond question. But "Southern Music" describes a diffuse expanse of material. This is where Vitro is at her programming best. In all her similar projects, she resists the obvious. She proves this by kicking off Tell Me the Truth with Allen Toussaint's "On Your Way Down," a darkly-colored classic covered by Little Feat, Gov't Mule, and Phish, among many others. In Vitro's hands, this menacing, New Orleans Gris Gris is transformed into an upbeat, Latin-inflected tome on humility when especially gifted. Pianist Mark Soskin provides a sharp arrangement that features guitarist Mitch Stein in an assertive and distorted guitar solo and saxophonist Tim Ries waxing R&B on tenor.

While Patsy Cline's "Walkin' After Midnight" has been covered by other jazz vocalists (Patrice Jegou, Livia Devereux, Lawrence Lebo, Tierney Sutton; Kari Gaffney), Vitro injects a breezy, strolling quality to the song. She sings with a soulful abandon steeped in the jazz tradition. Vitro shares duet singing duties with Al Chestnut on the Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself" and trio duties with Kate McGarry and Cindy Scott (with one Sara Caswell on violin) on Eli Yamin's "A Healing Song, all with festive results. Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son" in transmuted into a 21st Century jazz anthem. Vitro finds much common ground with Mose Allison on the latter's "Your Mind is on Vacation," at the same time turning the soul meter on Boz Scagg's "I'll Be Long Gone." Roseanna Vitro should be rightly heard as one of our leading jazz vocalists today. Her track record of smartly programmed recordings is ample evidence of this. Tell Me the Truth is a valuable addition to her continuing contribution to jazz vocals.

Track Listing: On Your Way Down; Walkin’ After Midnight; Respect Yourself; Your Mind is on Vacation; I’ll Be Long Gone; Foolin’ Myself’ Tell Me The Truth; When Will I Be Loved; Fortunate Son; A Heling Song; I’ll Fly Away.

Personnel: Roseanna Vitro: vocals, arrangements; Mark Soskin: piano, group and horn arrangement; Dean Johnson: bass; Rudy Royston: drums; Mitch Stein: guitars; Tim Ries: saxophone; Nathan Eklund: trumpet; Al Chestnut: vocals (3); Sara Caswell: violin (10); Kate McGarry: vocals (10); Cindy Scott: vocals (10).

Title: Tell Me The Truth | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Skyline Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Web of Love

Web of Love

Roseanna Vitro
Clarity, Music of Clare Fischer

Sail Away

Sail Away

Roseanna Vitro
Roseanna Vitro and The Music of...

Please Do Something

Please Do Something

Roseanna Vitro
Live At The Kennedy Center

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Tell Me The Truth

Tell Me The Truth

Skyline Records
2018

buy
Clarity: Music of Clare Fischer

Clarity: Music of...

Random Act Records
2014

buy
The Music Of Randy Newman

The Music Of Randy...

Motéma Music
2011

buy
Live At The Kennedy Center

Live At The Kennedy...

Challenge Records
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Royal Family CD/LP/Track Review
Royal Family
by Chris May
Published: November 19, 2018
Read W CD/LP/Track Review
W
by John Eyles
Published: November 19, 2018
Read Igbó Alákọrin CD/LP/Track Review
Igbó Alákọrin
by Jim Trageser
Published: November 19, 2018
Read Hello Human CD/LP/Track Review
Hello Human
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 19, 2018
Read Svårmod Och Vemod Är Värdesinnen CD/LP/Track Review
Svårmod Och Vemod Är Värdesinnen
by Vitalijus Gailius
Published: November 19, 2018
Read Ancestros CD/LP/Track Review
Ancestros
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 18, 2018
Read "From Outer Space" CD/LP/Track Review From Outer Space
by Thad Aerts
Published: March 11, 2018
Read "RFK Stadium 1989 Box" CD/LP/Track Review RFK Stadium 1989 Box
by Doug Collette
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "Live In Geneva" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Geneva
by John Sharpe
Published: January 4, 2018
Read "Sun Sparkle" CD/LP/Track Review Sun Sparkle
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 10, 2018
Read "Walking Contradiction" CD/LP/Track Review Walking Contradiction
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 31, 2018
Read "The Groove Hunter" CD/LP/Track Review The Groove Hunter
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: June 27, 2018