280

The Puppini Sisters: The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo

David Rickert By

Sign in to view read count
The Puppini Sisters: The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo For those who have been longing for a revival of the Andrews Sisters style of singing (and surely Christina Aguilera's "Candyman" whetted a few appetites) the Puppini Sisters' second album, The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo, will be right up their alley. The Sisters, one from Italy and two from England and none related, employ the sound of old groups like the Andrews and the Boswells, yet with a modern sensibility that keeps it from being merely a gimmick. They have the tight harmonies and vocal swoops and scats down pat and the small combo behind them, often just drums, bass, and the occasional guitar, provides the sparse backing that lets the vocals take the foreground. The album evokes a small club rather than the bandstand.

That being said, the Puppinis are a lot less sunny than the Andrews Sisters ever were, preferring the more melancholy aspects of jazz singing. Tunes like "Spooky" and "Soho Nights" recall the soundtrack to The Triplets of Bellville, a Puppini influence, with their Parisian cafï sensibility and melancholy tone, but the trio isn't afraid to tackle a steamy blues numbers or a Manilow song. The Sisters do wonderful things with "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" which, aside from the quotes from modern tunes, sounds like it could have come straight from Ellington's bandstand. Conversely, the band tackles some campy classics, and while a cover of "Walk Like An Egyptian" wears out its welcome, their version of Beyonce's "Crazy In Love" works much better than expected and is a highlight of the second half. In addition to all the songs from other pens, the Sisters each contribute a song a piece, each of which demonstrate a keen songwriting ability. Marcella Puppini's "And She Sang" is an especially lovely tune.

The Puppini Sisters got their start with a cover of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" but have shown with this release that they can be more than just imitators. In fact, this might be what the Boswells would have sounded like were they getting their start today, although they might have had the good sense to avoid the Bangles.


Track Listing: Spooky; Walk Like An Egyptian; Old Cape Cod; Soho Nights; I Can't Believe I'm Not A Millionaire; It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing); Could It Be Magic; Jilted; Crazy In Love; It's Not Over (Death Of The Toy Piano); And She Sang; We Have All The Time In The World.

Personnel: Marcella Puppini, Kate Mullins, Stephanie O'Brien: vocals; various others.

Title: The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Verve Music Group


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "The Art of the Improv Trio Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review The Art of the Improv Trio Volume 1
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Still Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Still Motion
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "Live: SFJAZZ Center 2016 - Music of Miles Davis & Original Compositions" CD/LP/Track Review Live: SFJAZZ Center 2016 - Music of Miles Davis &...
by John Kelman
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "The Caustic Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review The Caustic Ballads
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: August 24, 2016
Read "Gentle Giants" CD/LP/Track Review Gentle Giants
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 29, 2017
Read "Il Dodicesimo Nano" CD/LP/Track Review Il Dodicesimo Nano
by Jim Olin
Published: January 10, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.