The title of this album, according to leader/woodwind specialist Carol Sudhalter, refers to the fact that each of its thirteen tunes begins on the interval of an octave. Ten of The Octave Tunes' songs are standards, including a pair of holiday favorites, "Let It Snow! Let It Snow!" and "The Christmas Song." Of the three originals, two were written by Sudhalter's guests, organist Vito Di Modugno ("Pancake Blues") and precocious teen-age pianist Carlo Barile ("Cheeseburger Blue"), who accompanies Sudhalter on four charming duets, three showcasing her dancing flute, the other ("Over the Rainbow") her gravelly baritone sax.
Sudhalter raises the baritone again on "Cheeseburger Blue," plays tenor on "Pancake Blues," "Crazy He Calls Me" and "The Christmas Song," and sits out on two numbers"You Go to My Head" (vocal by Marti Mabin} and Duke Ellington's "Daydream" (solo organ by Modugno). Mabin is the vocalist on "Crazy He Calls Me" and "The Christmas Song," Elena Camerin on the saucy samba "Quisiera Ser" (color added by trumpeter Charlie Franklin and percussionist Bobby Viteri). Sudhalter's flute is front and center again on "Nature Boy," "Quisiera Ser" and "It's Only a Paper Moon."
Everything is well-played, and the album atones in variety for what it may lack in resourcefulness. Sudhalter is proficient on every axe, and the supporting cast is admirable, especially Barile and Modugno, who are among several Italians in the crew (the album was released on Rome's Alfa Music label). Those who haven't heard Sudhalter are sure to be pleasantly surprised, and may be inspired to seek out her splendid big-band album, Last Train to Astoria (Self Produced, 2002).
Track Listing: Flamingo; Pancake Blues; You Go to My Head; Alice in Wonderland; Nature Boy; Quisiera Ser; Daydream; Cheeseburger Blue; Over the Rainbow; It's Only a Paper Moon; Crazy He Calls Me; Let It Snow! Let It Snow!; The Christmas Song.
Personnel: Carol Sudhalter: leader, flute (1, 4-6, 10, 12), tenor sax (2, 11, 13), baritone sax (3, 8, 9); Charlie Franklin: trumpet (6); Carlo Barile: piano (1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 12); Joe Vincent Tranchina: piano (5, 10); Antonio Cervellino: bass (1, 3-6, 8, 10); Roberto Pistolesi: drums (3, 8); Kaori Yamada: drums (2, 10, 11); Marti Mabin: vocals (3, 11, 13); Elena Camerin: vocals (6); Vito Di Modugno: Hammond organ (2, 7, 11, 13).
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.