106

Teresa Manzella: Torch Swingin'

By

Sign in to view read count
The dictionary defines a "torch song" as "a sentimental love song, typically one in which the singer laments a lost love." What the definition fails to recognize is that an important element of a torch song is that it is virtually always sung by a woman. The torch song is the jazz counterpart to country music tunes where lamentation has been is an art form.

On this her first album, Teresa Manzella sings sad songs that one might hear late at night in a café inhabited by lonely people, literally crying in their beers. She manages to add torch to songs where one might not expect it such as with "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm" with Michael O'Brien's bowed bass creating a cello sound. For this song and others like "Autumn Serenade" and "Azure", Manzella's deep voice and her sultry delivery create the torchy mood. These tunes typically include the lamenting saxophone of Gary Berg. But she understands that 50 minutes of sad café music may be a bit much. So that's where the Swingin' part takes over. Mood breakers like "My Babe" are inserted where Manzella takes on a bright cute style. This is a fine cut as Manzella shows off her scatting skills, without overdoing it. Other up tempo tunes where she successfully uses her bright, cute style are fine fast paced interpretations of "Peel Me a Grape" and "Lullaby of Birdland". One concern involves engineering. Sometimes Manzella is hard to hear, overridden by the instruments such as Hyvarinen's guitar as on "Azure" where it's hard to discern the lyrics. Otherwise, the players are strongly supportive of Manzella throughout, with the guitar the lead instrument on several cuts and Mary Louise Knutson's piano taking on that role for the remaining ones. Fine drummer Tony Moreno sets the rhythmic pace throughout.

Technical concerns notwithstanding, this is a fine maiden album from another good jazz artist from the Upper Midwest area and is recommended. To find out some more about Teresa, go to www.mtn.org/tcjs/Musicians/Bios/Teresa Manzella. html.

Track Listing: You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to#; Out or Nowhere*; I'll Remember April#; My Babe*; Peel Me a Grape#; Lullaby of Birdland*; Autumn Serenade*; I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm#; Why Don't You Do Right?*; Sassy's Blues#; Azure*

Personnel: Teresa Manzella- Vocals; John Hyvarinen - Guitar*; Adam Linz, Michael O'Brien# - Bass*; Tony Moreno - Drums; Gary Berg - Tenor Sax; Mary Louise Knutson - Piano#

| Record Label: Manzella Music | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Rising Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Rising Grace
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities" CD/LP/Track Review S-O-L-O: 30th Birthday/30 Concerts/30 Cities
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: May 19, 2016
Read "Lost Signals" CD/LP/Track Review Lost Signals
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "Alma Matters" CD/LP/Track Review Alma Matters
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 10, 2017
Read "Telepathy & Bop" CD/LP/Track Review Telepathy & Bop
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Southern Lights" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Lights
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!