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Scottish-based Caber Music assumes that the listener will somehow divine who is singing and who is the pianist on this two-performer session. Nowhere in the liner notes is this rather basic information revealed. Fortunately their web site tells us it's Tam White who's singing and Brian Kellock on piano.
Jazz blues singer White has been part of the Scottish music scene for more than three decades having worked with many practitioners of the blues art, including Al Green, Robert Cray and Mose Allison. His gruff, down in the throat voice works well with selections on the play list, five of which White wrote. His lyrics are not a bunch of words to fill up the lines on the stave paper. They tell real stories like the sad tale of "Broadway Rose" or the light hearted straight from the shoulder saga of "Me and the Blues Again". Too bad lyrics aren't included in the liner notes. When White addresses a ballad like "Nancy" he sounds like a cross between Willie Nelson and Walter Houston, the latter when he sang September Song in Knickerbocker Holiday, and it's not a bad combination at all.
The man at the piano, Brian Kellock, has carved out a successful career of his own. Leader of a trio, he has worked with Sheila Jordan and Red Rodney and works as a member of Australian trumpeter Jim Morrison's band. His Oscar Peterson influenced style contrasts well with the craggy vocalizing of Tam White. He also does a lovely solo on "This Love of Mine" while White rests.
The only complaint about this otherwise fine recording is that on some tracks White's voice seems muffled on some cuts. Otherwise, recommended. Visit Caber Music's Internet site at www.cabermusic.com.
Track Listing: Piano Player; Careful Man; Woman in Love; Broadway Rose; Me and the Blues Again; The Dream; Medley: This Love of Mine/Nancy; Easy Money; Hey Mister; Fool; It Should Have Been Me; The Water Is Wide
Personnel: Tam White - Vocals; Brian Kellock - Piano
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.