All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

219

Maureen Kennedy: This Is Always

By

Sign in to view read count
Toronto jazz singer Maureen Kennedy clearly owes a good part of her style to the cool femme vocalists of the 1950s and '60s. There's a lot of the vibrato-less vocal technique of singers like Helen Merrill and Irene Kral in her delivery, even though she doesn't particulary sound like either of them.

In addition to having a distinct jazz vocal style, Kennedy stands out on the basis of the song selection on this album, her debut. Half of the dozen tracks are new to me, despite the fact that they were written by composers like Billy Strayhorn, Bob Haymes, Johnny Burke/Jimmy Van Heusen, Judy Tate and rock songwriter Nick Drake. Four more tunes fall into the "recorded but not too often" category, leaving only Porter's "Get Out Of Town" and Berlin's "Let's Face The Music and Dance" as familiar standards. If only other emerging jazz singers were able (or willing) to produce a song selection as fresh as this one.

"This is Always," written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren, has become a meaningful love song that is almost exclusively performed by jazz vocalists. Jobim's "Dreamer," a lilting first-wave bossa nova song with English lyrics by Gene Lees, is a beauty that is rarely heard nowadays. One word of advice: I loved it as a samba, bue only liked it as a jazz ballad.

"The Winter of Our Disconcent," a rather obscure Alec Wilder song, is appropriately aired, as is the late-'60s ballad "Who Knows Where The Time Goes," which was written by British folk singer Sandy Denny and is most associated with the Judy Collins version. I'm familiar with Helen Merrill and Jeri Southern's take on Cole Porter's "After You," but I can't believe that there are too many other versions. Kennedy starts the song off with the verse and then swings it in mid-tempo. As far as the other tunes, I was most impressed by the Burke/Van Heusen piece "Humpty Dumpty Heart" and also admired Bob Haymes' "You For Me" and Strayhorn's "Love Came."

The Nancy Walker Trio, also from Toronto, aptly provides the musical support for Maureen Kennedy on this date. In addition to the pianist, this group features bassist Kevin Overs and drummer Anthony Michelli. Walker, a familiar pianist in Toronto, also supplies arrangements on two tracks.


Track Listing: This Is Always; After You; Get Out Of Town; River Man; Love Came; You For Me; Dreamer; Let's Face The Music And Dance; Humpty Dumpty Heart; Illusion; Winter Of My Discontent; Who Knows Where the Time Goes.

Personnel: Maureen Kennedy: vocals; Nancy Walker: piano; Kieran Overs: bass; Anthony Michelli: drums.

Title: This Is Always | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
This Is Always

This Is Always

Self Produced
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Grime Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read (Willisau) 1991 Studio CD/LP/Track Review
(Willisau) 1991 Studio
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Tradition CD/LP/Track Review
Tradition
by Chris May
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Life Anthem CD/LP/Track Review
Life Anthem
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 20, 2018
Read Closer To Home CD/LP/Track Review
Closer To Home
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 20, 2018
Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2018
Read "Murphy" CD/LP/Track Review Murphy
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 18, 2017
Read "Of Abstract Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Of Abstract Dreams
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 29, 2018
Read "Octet Vol. 2" CD/LP/Track Review Octet Vol. 2
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 29, 2017
Read "Bringin' It" CD/LP/Track Review Bringin' It
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "Departure" CD/LP/Track Review Departure
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "Body and Shadow" CD/LP/Track Review Body and Shadow
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 26, 2017