All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

131

Barbara Sfraga: Under the Moon

C. Michael Bailey By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Barbara Sfraga: Under the Moon I first encountered Barbara Sfraga on Oh, What a Thrill (Naxos Jazz), where I reflected upon the singer's remarkably broad-ranging, sensual, evocative voice. Under the Moon does not change that impression at all. Sfraga was more than bold on Oh, What a Thrill by coupling "Angel Eyes" with "Sunshine of Your Love." She has nothing so bold in her repertoire here, but her vocals remain fresh and exciting. Ms Sfraga is no newcomer, but her new album shows her more comfortable and more probing than on her previous releases. Most notable is the inclusion of John McLean on guitar and the lack of a piano. Though not perfectly interchangeable, a guitar-led band does has its advantages to one led by a piano, and Under the Moon illustrates this point amply.

Ms. Sfraga and Mr. McLean are almost on equal footing on this recording. His guitar sounds beautifully acoustic one moment, Bill Frisell steel guitar-like the next ("Mood Indigo") and standard jazz the next ("You've Changed"). "Stardust" is a towering achievement; setting the tone for the justification that standards are here to be interpreted and re-interpreted. Just when the most callous critic thinks s/he has heard it all, a disc like this comes along and blasts the contemporary wisdom ship from the water.

Ms. Sfraga employs all of the freedom offered by the 1960s Miles Davis Quintet, Betty Carter, and post bop sovereignty. She loosens the binds on the music and allows the muse to flow throughout Under the Moon. Just then I though I had wrapped up my end-of-the-year-list, a masterpiece has come under the wire.


Track Listing: Stardust; I

Personnel: Barbara Sfraga

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: A440 Music | Style: Vocal


Shop For Jazz

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Nite & Disk
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Timelessness Frozen In Time
Timelessness Frozen...
Self Produced
2007
buy
Under The Moon
Under The Moon
A440 Music
2004
buy
Under The Moon
Under The Moon
A440 Music
2003
buy
Eric Dolphy Eric Dolphy
reeds
Paul Motian Paul Motian
drums
Al Cohn Al Cohn
sax, tenor
Dena DeRose Dena DeRose
piano
James Zollar James Zollar
trumpet
Arthur Blythe Arthur Blythe
sax, alto
Jackie Ryan Jackie Ryan
vocalist
Jeremy Steig Jeremy Steig
flute
John Hart John Hart
guitar

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.