A hidden treasure from southern California, jazz singer Mary Ann Douglas writes her own songs and lyrics. Each of her four albums, released over the past ten years, proves unique in that manner. Original material means pleasant surprises. In all, Douglas' four albums contain sixty-four songs that are fascinating for their comfortable allure and for the convincing delivery that she offers them. Working with an all-star ensemble, the singer warms with an intimacy that defines pure jazz and blues from the inside out.
With Unfinished Business Douglas moves onward and upward as she takes this winning performance up a few notches. It's all about heart and her genuine delivery. Mundell Lowe's eclectic arranging gives the session a bright array of light, Latin textures, deep blues, slow, soulful ballads and up-tempo romps. The album's title track and several others ooze with an earthy blues quality, while Douglas makes herself comfortable with the music's cool flow.
Her lyrics tell stories; the kind that keep you thinking about why things work out the way they do. The singer keeps you wondering about the tales, while her ensemble wraps the music in a gentle jazz framework that flows naturally. Like Mary Ann Douglas' previous albums, Unfinished Business comes recommended for its heartfelt charm and for its pure jazz projection.
Track Listing: Move Over, Blues; Something
Personnel: Mary Ann Douglas: vocals; Mundell Lowe: electric guitar, acoustic guitar; John Rekevics: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute, alto flute; Rob Whitlock: piano, keyboards; Bob Magnusson: acoustic bass; Jim Plank: percussion.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.