Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet –
Released – November 7, 2014
Dedicated to the late Tim Hauser, who founded the Manhattan Transfer – this east-coast based foursome joins with saxophonist Richie Cole (Lionel Hampton, Doc Severinsen, Eddie Jefferson) for a dozen cool tracks.
Ginny Carr leads the group. Her alto is joined by Andre Enceneat on Bass, soprano Holly Shockley, and tenor Robert McBride.
I’ve added Mr. Cole’s original “Bossa Nova Eyes,” along with “I Love Lucy” (yes, that Lucy), and Ms. Carr’s tribute to Eddie Jefferson, “He Was The Cat” to the playlist at 62ndStreet.com. But buy the album, and spring for the whole dozen. And forget the old standards. These tight harmonies and hand-crafted lyrics will have you believing they’ve been around for forever.
Jamila Ford – The Deep End
(Skinny Chick Records)
Released – September 9, 2014
Jamila Ford has backed names like Bonnie Pointer (Pointer Sisters) and Melody Gardot; she gets her turn front and center on this five track EP.
Not wasted. Confident and powerful, Ms. Ford motors through four off-the-beaten-track jazz standards, and one of her originals, “Silencio.” That’s the one that got my attention, standing up alongside the standards, but…well, original.
As my kid, the musician, says, “Anyone can do a decent cover. Do you have the chops to make something original stand out?”
The whole album is worthy of a five-spot. My favorites include “All Blues,” the opener, along with “Gentle Rain.”
And “Silencio.” All three added to the playlist at 62ndStreet.com.
But buy the whole thing.