384

Joyce Cooling: This Girl's Got to Play

By

Sign in to view read count
Joyce Cooling: This Girl's Got to Play Guitarist Joyce Cooling continues her particular smooth jazz style on her fourth CD, with plenty of tight grooves, clean electric and acoustic guitar runs, an occasional blues, rock or Brazilian aside, and several chances to display her jazz-style vocals.

Cooling and partner/producer/keyboardist Jay Wagner breeze through nine diverse tracks that have plenty of hit potential, beginning with the opener, "Expression." Cooling trades acoustic and electric riffs, and Wagner keeps time on the keyboards, as is their style. Wagner also plays some bouncy solos. Another potential smash is "Camelback," a rump-shaker with a blues-lite groove. Add a come-hither piano solo, and you've got a song perfect for that Saharan camel ride you've always wanted to take.

The title of "Green Impala" gives a clue to its content—it's a funky ride down Main Street, accompanied by a right-on drum loop. "Toast & Jam" says it all too: a thumping bass beat by Nelson Braxton, bluesy organ riffs. Here Cooling shows her unabashed love of pure funk. The vocal tune that works best is "Take Me There," with Cooling's refrain on the title unobtrusive while she stays within herself vocally. "No More Blues" works also, because Cooling sings likes she's having a conversation, and it goes well with the jazz beat burnished with Alan Hall's brushed drumstrokes.

The autobiographical title track gives a glimpse into Cooling's inspirations. The lyrics are revealing, as she allows for some insight into her struggles as a pretty woman struggling to break into instrumental music: "They said, put your guitar and sing/just look real cute and entertain/sorry, honey, it ain't my thing."

"Natural Fact," the last vocal track, is another slice of funk with some wonderful trumpet playing by Bill Ortiz. Subtract the vocals, however, and you'd have a head-boppin' drums-and-bass ambient and chill gem.

Track Listing: Expression; Take Me There; Camelback; No More Blues; Green Impala; This Girl's Got to Play; Toast & Jam; Natural Fact; The Wizard; Talk

Personnel: Joyce Cooling, guitars, vocals; Jay Wagner, keyboards; Bill Johnson, drums; Peter Michael Escovedo, percussion; Nelson Braxton, bass; Nicolas Beard, vocals; Bill Ortiz, flugelhorn; Ray Obiedo, guitar; Annie Beard, background vocals

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Narada Jazz | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


Shop

More Articles

Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read In the Still of the Night CD/LP/Track Review In the Still of the Night
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Zea CD/LP/Track Review Zea
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Asian Fields Variations CD/LP/Track Review Asian Fields Variations
by John Kelman
Published: May 21, 2017
Read Left Right Left CD/LP/Track Review Left Right Left
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 21, 2017
Read "Going North" CD/LP/Track Review Going North
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Hourglass" CD/LP/Track Review Hourglass
by Paul Rauch
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Blackwater" CD/LP/Track Review Blackwater
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 18, 2016
Read "Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, and provide read access to our future articles.