Philadelphia-born singer Ernie Andrews has made Los Angeles his home for 60 of his 77 years, in the process becoming a legend among local jazz and blues fans by consistently presenting one of the best live performances in town. Die-hard fans of the blues/jazz singer will most appreciate Verve's new reissue of this album, first recorded in '64 for Dot Records.
Andrews is at his finest when delivering songs that tell a story and tunes which are heavily steeped in the blues. His rendition of the classic "Parker's Mood," a heartfelt tribute, is easily the best tune of the set. With minimal accompaniment, his take on "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" is effectively delivered at a near-glacierly pace, adding to the song's sense of pathos.
Unfortunately, the remaining songs on the album are lyrically and musically very dated. This is Ernie Andrews was recorded 41 years ago, and Andrews' rich baritone has since gotten deeper and more resonant. In performance, his shows are sassy and fun-filled. This album comes nowhere near capturing the man's vocal talents, stage presence, ability to interact with an audience, or sense of humor. Ernie Andrews is best appreciated live.
Track Listing: Why; On a Clear Day You Can See Forever; I've Grown Accustomed to
Her Face; My Heart Laid Down and Died; Parker's Mood; I Will Take You Home
Again Kathleen; Human; Try It Baby; Oldest Story In the World; You Came a Long
Way from St. Louis.
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.