Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

2

Tianna Hall and the Mexico City Jazz Trio: Two for the Road

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Tianna Hall's fifth recording, Two For The Road, and her first since Never Let Me Go (Blue Bamboo, 2011), continues to document the singer's evolution within the mainstream of jazz vocals. Thoroughly trained in the vocal arts at the University of Houston, Hall has progressively refined her smart and sexy delivery with each recording. Hall has achieved a vocal facility that is the equivalent of Lauren Bacall telling Humphrey Bogart how to whistle in the 1944 film To Have and Have Not: "You just put your lips together...and blow."

The combination of Hall with The Mexico City Jazz Trio, which also joined her on her 2007, self-produced Lost in the Stars, makes for a potent and swinging synergy that breathes new life into the standard repertoire. Hall shows she is the complete package on the opening "Til There Was You," where she sings with effortless and conversational confidence. The trio is sharp and precise, accenting Hall's vocal twists and turns. She turns her playful and smart sexiness on in her duet with saxophonist/vocalist David Caceres on Duke Ellington's "They Can't Take That Away from Me." Frank Loesser's "Baby, It's Cold Outside" deserves these two as singers. "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" and the title tune prove Hall's Swing ability at brisk and slow tempi.

Ever the surprise, Hall introduces three (relatively) recent compositions to her recorded repertoire. She makes Soundgarden's staple, "Black Hole Sun," sway as if scored by Antonio Carlos Jobim. Radiohead's "Creep" receives a stripped-down, emotive reading, with Hall singing sardonically in tandem with bassist Agustin Bernal's determined momentum. Hall fashions the piece in the mainstream jazz idiom effectively, demonstrating that even newer and more demanding compositions can provide the fuel for interpretation and improvisation.

Eric Stewart and 10cc's 1970s ballad, "I'm Not In Love," fits perfectly between "Good Morning Heartache" and "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," while cleverly interpolating Miles Davis' "So What." The art of jazz vocals has a good keeper in Tianna Hall.

Track Listing: Til There Was You; What Is This Thing Called Love?; When October Goes; They Can't Take That Away from Me; Creep; You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To; Black Hole Sun; I've Never Been in Love Before; Good Morning Heartache; I'm Not in Love; I'm Gonna Sit Right Down & Write Myself a Letter; So in Love; Moon River.

Personnel: Tianna Hall: vocals; Miguel Villicana: piano; Agustin Bernal: bass; Gabriel Puentes: drums; David Caceres: vocals and saxophone (4); Mike Wheeler: guitar (4, 14); Lisa Vosdoganes: cello.

Title: Two for the Road | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Songs of Experience" CD/LP/Track Review Songs of Experience
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 1, 2017
Read "Overseas V" CD/LP/Track Review Overseas V
by Troy Collins
Published: March 30, 2017
Read "Joy Comes Back" CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "The Danish Sessions" CD/LP/Track Review The Danish Sessions
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 2, 2017
Read "Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations" CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "Donora Autumn" CD/LP/Track Review Donora Autumn
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 29, 2017