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...

2

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

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
It would be a mistake to dismiss vocalist Tianna Hall's fifth album Two For The Road as another collection of reinterpreted familiar workhorses. While it's true that the record consists exclusively of standards Hall's nuanced approach to them, and the inclusion of a couple of lesser-known songs, makes for a unique listening experience.

The two highlights on this otherwise almost uniformly superior album are the sparse reading of Radiohead's "Creep" and Cole Porter's "So In Love" transformed into a tango. On the former her sensuous singing unfolds over bass and trap drums' rumbling vamps. Simultaneously fragile and resilient her voice imbues the tune with subtle intrigue and aching beauty. On the latter her melancholic and intimate delivery causes goose bumps as her lilt rises and fall with the melody.



The Mexico City Jazz Trio, sometimes augmented with cellist Lisa Vosdoganes' refined bowing, provide effective support in enhancing the passionate and mysterious ambience. Tasteful, albeit brief, solos showcase each musician individually as well. Pianist Miguel Villicana's lush cascade of notes mirrors Hall's naturally flowing conversational vocals on "When October Goes." Bassist Agustin Bernal's lyrical strings serenade Hall on "I've Never Been in Love Before." Her honeyed intonations are like fine whiskey, smooth and leaving behind a delightful afterglow. Elsewhere drummer Gabriel Puentes' polyrhythms add a stimulating angularity to the whimsical and playful "I Am Not in Love." The band peppers the tightly swinging piece with quotes from trumpeter Miles Davis' iconic "So What."



Guest guitarist Mike Wheeler's complex acoustic strums con arco contribution from Vosdoganes' cello bring an exquisite romanticism to the title track, Hall's evocative and wistful articulation spices up this Latin tinged tune.



Momentum, however, slacks on composer and pianist Duke Ellington's "They Can't Take That Away from Me." The duet with singer and saxophonist David Caceres is distracting and sounds a bit like an overdubbed echo while his brief saxophone and Wheeler's guitar interludes feel redundant.



Granted nothing too innovative or ground-breaking happens on this record but despite this and its one weak spot it remains a highly enjoyable and mature work. Hall is certainly immensely talented and her ability to navigate various styles with ease and grace makes this disc absorbing and alluring even after multiple spins.


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: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Bailey's Bundles
CD/LP/Track Review
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Hit Me with a Hot Note

Hit Me with a Hot Note

Self Produced
2015

buy
Two for the Road

Two for the Road

Self Produced
2013

buy
Two for the Road

Two for the Road

Self Produced
2012

buy
Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go

Blue Bamboo Music
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Runner in the Rain CD/LP/Track Review
Runner in the Rain
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 15, 2018
Read Cuarteto Europa CD/LP/Track Review
Cuarteto Europa
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2018
Read Chicago/Buenos Aires Connections CD/LP/Track Review
Chicago/Buenos Aires Connections
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 15, 2018
Read Beggar’s Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition CD/LP/Track Review
Beggar’s Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: December 15, 2018
Read Intelsat CD/LP/Track Review
Intelsat
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 15, 2018
Read World Gardens CD/LP/Track Review
World Gardens
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 14, 2018
Read "The Lady In the Gown" CD/LP/Track Review The Lady In the Gown
by Geannine Reid
Published: November 9, 2018
Read "Icaros" CD/LP/Track Review Icaros
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: February 28, 2018
Read "The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Band Side of Andrew Neu
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2018
Read "Vol II" CD/LP/Track Review Vol II
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "Stringscapes: A Portrait of the World in Nylon & Steel" CD/LP/Track Review Stringscapes: A Portrait of the World in Nylon & Steel
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 11, 2018
Read "After the Fall" CD/LP/Track Review After the Fall
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 3, 2018