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Tish Oney: The Best Part

C. Michael Bailey By

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Dr. Tish Oney is a woman for all seasons: vocalist, arranger, composer, professor, producer. She has many irons in many fires and all of them are hot. Her fifth recording, The Best Part continues her fruitful association with guitarist John Chiodini, whose trio this time around comprised bassist Chuck Berghofer and drummer Ray Brinker (no mean company). This guitar-led trio provides Oney with a spare and sophisticated place from which to launch her vocal musings.

Stylistically, Oney has a quiet, precise and conservative approach to vocals that is not unlike that of Dr. Darden PurcellWhere the Blue Begins (Armored Records, 2017) and Easy Living (Armored Records, 2017). Both singers are lyric-and melody-conscious, thoughtful in their arrangements, and ever dedicated to the spirits of the composers. As educators, this serves them well.

Having addressed the Great American Songbook on her previous recordings, Forever Mind (DTG Productions, 2001) and Sweet Youth (DTG Productions, 2011), Oney sharply focuses her intentions with The Best Part. Exciting are the three never-before-heard Peggy Lee-penned songs, "Most of All — I Love You," "I've Got a Brand New Baby," and "I've Been Lonely Too Long," making this recording a Lee lovefest. Oney assimilates these songs, presenting them cooly and as her own. Chiodini, as is already clear, is a great accompanist for the singer, never crowding her or allowing her to crowd him. "Sweet Angel" and "Conundrum" illustrate this.

The Best Part is part of a progressive revolution taking place in Oney's thought and art. It will be interesting and welcome to see how this develops.

Track Listing: Most Of All - I Love You; Dust Off Your Dreams; I've Got a Brand New Baby; Grab a Little Bit of Golden Sunshine; Sweet Angel; One More Spring; Conundrum; I've Been Too Lonely For Too Long

Personnel: Tish Oney, Vocals; John Chiodini, Guitars; Chuck Berghofer, Bass; Ray Brinker, Drums

Title: The Best Part | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Blujazz Productions

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