Anita Wardell is one of England's best-kept secrets, but with talent like hers she won't be a secret for much longer. Possessing a natural swing and scatting ability like Kitty Margolis but with the sensuality of Julie London, Wardell is the complete jazz singer. Her sidemen are extremely gifted soloists in their own rights, and hearing this album should make North American jazz fans with the wherewithal want to hop the next plane to Ronnie Scott's when Wardell's quartet plays there the next time.
Until the Stars Fade contains only standards, but they are all performed with new interpretations that make the tunes sound as fresh as the day they were composed. The latin groove is a particularly nice touch to Bobby Troup's tragically-neglected classic "You're Looking at Me." Nothing short of amazing is the complete reharmonization of Rogers and Hammerstein's "People Will Say We're in Love." In the hands of Wardell and company the tune sounds as though it were composed by Herbie Hancock or McCoy Tyner.
Wardell also knows how to sing a torch song, and her rendition of "For All We Know" is particularly lugubrious and poignant. But when it comes to scatting, Wardell is right up there with Kurt Elling and Mark Murphy. Her performances of "Devil May Care" (most recently recorded by Diana Krall), "I've Never Been in Love Before" and "My Shining Hour" are masterpieces of vocal improvisation.
Anita Wardell is an amazing talent whose artistry deserves much wider recognition. Until the Stars Fade is a flawless recording of a great jazz singer at the top of her game.
Track Listing: Get Out of Town; Love for Sale; Make Someone Happy; You're Looking at
Me; I've Never Been in Love Before; For All We Know; People Will Say
We're in Love; With a Song in My Heart; Devil May Care; My Shining Hour
Personnel: Anita Wardell, voice; Robin Aspland, piano; Jeremy Brown, bass; Gene
Caldarazzo, drums; Mark Taylor, drums
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.