The Jazz Club series is an attractive addition to the Verve catalogue. With it's modern design and popular choice of repertoire, the Jazz Club is not only opened for Jazz fans, but for everyone that loves good music.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, Imelda May is a unique vocal talent, one whose gift lies outside the normal order of pop culture time and trends. Inspired by the sounds of vocal jazz à la Billie Holiday and the sound and looks of rockabilly, May began performing with the swing outfit Blue Harlem, and released a handful of independent CDs before scoring attention in 2007 with her nomination for an award as Best Burlesque Singer as well as the release of her more official debut, Love Tattoo. The album, featuring her strong backing band comprised of players Dave Priseman, Darrell Higham, Al Gare, and Steve Rushton, was critically and commercially well received, leading to some high-profile live gigs, including hitting the road with Jools Holland. It was released in the U.S.A. by Decca in 2009, followed by two singles, and scored a mid-level success. Her sophomore effort, Mayhem, arrived in September of 2010, preceded by the single "Psycho".
This edition of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers is an unusual one. The personnel includes Blakey veterans Lee Morgan (returning to the band after some success as a leader), Curtis Fuller, and Victor Sproles, along with John Hicks (who appeared on three other Blakey records) and the tenor saxophonist John Gilmore (of Sun Ra fame) in his only appearance with the band. As was typical of Blakey-led groups, the emphasis is on original material by its members; the one Broadway show tune included, "Faith," is from a long since forgotten I Had a Ball. Morgan's driving blues "'S Make It" is easily the highlight of the session, though Hicks' richly voiced "Waltz for Ruth" and Fuller's Latin-flavored "Little Hughie" also deserve to be better known than they are. It's a shame that this was the only recording by this particular lineup of the Jazz Messengers, as Gilmore's strong blowing complements Morgan very well.
Billie Holiday is predominant among jazz singers. Frank Sinatra said of her, "She was and remains my biggest influence." Sinatra points to the way Holiday could make a song her own. Her dusky, smoky voice conveys more about love and heartache in one syllable than most other singers in any genre will convey in a lifetime. This album is a collection of recordings from the '50s for the Verve and Clef labels. It's a late-night dream for the nights you can't sleep, thinkin' about the love that got away. Holiday is accompanied by some of the music's best players: Ben Webster (king of the big, breathy tenor sax tone), Benny Carter (alto sax), and Jimmy Rowles (one of the most graceful pianists ever). Her take on "Body and Soul" could melt the hardest heart, and imagine yourself at the end of your figurative rope with "Ill Wind"…
Widely regarded as one of Canada's best jazz singers, Russian-born, Toronto-based vocalist Sophie Milman changes tact slightly for her fourth studio album, In the Moonlight. The twinkling piano chords, shuffling, brushed stroke rhythms, and gentle brass instrumentation which defined her previous output are still very much in evidence, but having traveled to New York to record with producer Matt Pierson (Jane Monheit, Michael Franks), the Juno Award winner has capitalized on the opportunity to expand her sound by inviting a string ensemble on board for the first time in her career. However, avoiding the temptation to smother the timeless, smoky, jazz bar arrangements in layers of bombastic layers of strings, the pair only use their newly recruited musicians sparingly and when needed, with only the Duke Ellington standards "Prelude to a Kiss" and "Day Dream," and the Umbrellas of Cherbourg number "Watch What Happens" offering anything more than the occasional orchestral flourish.
Features 24 bit remastering and comes with a mini-description. Released in 1963, this is a pair of traditional dixieland jazz performances recorded at the historic Preservation Hall in New Orleans - very distinctly New Orleans sound. Nathan "Jim" or "Big Jim" Robinson was a very reliable New Orleans trombonist who was much more consistent than most of the musicians he performed with, never seeming to have an off day. A jazz pioneer, Robinson played guitar as a child and started playing trombone in 1917, while stationed in France during World War I; he was already 24.
Chicago pianist and vocalist Patricia Barber is making lots of ears burn. Her torch song touch speaks volumes to jazz vocal fanatics, but she has an adventuresome side that speaks likewise to fans of woollier jazz. Barber's vocal delivery is swaggering and burnished, always angling against oddball time signatures and often dropping weird lyrical science. From e.e. cummings poems, Barber moves into prescient observations on our society: "For company in the 21st century," she sings, "I go to the club, talk through the show / I'm so hip there's nothing about jazz / That I don't know." Trumpeter Dave Douglas and guitarist John McLean add a sharp edge, and the Choral Thunder Vocal Choir give Modern Cool soul-drenched dynamics that push the CD into the realm of instant classics.