Call Nancy Wilson an old fashioned singer. She sings on key. You can understand every lyric. There's no trickery, just putting the song out there straight ahead. Her careful considerations of what she's singing result in a crispy heat that resides in the domain of the peerless Carmen McRae's elegant "less is more style.
This Grammy-nominated set follows up Wilson's 2005 Grammy-winning R.S.V.P. (Rare Songs Very Personal). She brands songs with her own tough-edged warmth. Durham & Matthews' "Knitting Class (on which she gets some sympathetic backup from Jimmy Heath's tenor sax), is prime Wilson. Cooly cooing the opening, "I'll Be Fine Without You, a story of breakup and survival is told between tight-lipped repetitions of "slip one stitch and pearl two.
Love in its various states is the theme throughout, whether on the '40s classic "I'll Be Seeing You (on which she is paired for the first time with Dr. Billy Taylor) or the title tune, a torchy beauty set to a Maya Angelou poem. "Here's To Life composer Artie Butler has provided Wilson with a simple and powerful new tune in "I Don't Remember Ever Growing Old. She's a master at this kind of tour-de-force storytelling.
Wilson has always been comfortable in the company of fine musicians. Among the standouts here are Hubert Laws (flute), Sean Jones (trumpet) and John Clayton (bass), the latter especially on a no-frills rendition of Mann & Weil's "Just Once. Wilson's tersely grunted "hmmm is a priceless opener, setting just the right crusty tone and yet again proving that less can be so much more.
Track Listing: This Is All I Ask; Take Love Easy; Turned To Blue; Knitting Class; Be My Love; Taking A Chance On Love; Just
Once; These Golden Years; I Don't Remember Ever Growing Up; Old Folks; I'll Be Seeing You.
Personnel: Nancy Wilson: vocals; James Moody, Tom Scott, Andy Snitzer, Jimmy Heath, Bob Mintzer: tenor sax; Hubert
Laws: flute; Sean Jones: trumpet; John Clayton: bass; Dave Samuels: vibes; Andy Narell: steel pan; Llew
Matthews, Dr. Billy Taylor: piano.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
Login to your All About Jazz member account to submit articles and press releases, upload images, edit musician profiles, add events and business listings, communicate with other members via personal messages, submit inqueries or contribute any content.