The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #46624 Message #943476
Posted By: Fortunato
30-Apr-03 - 09:22 AM
Thread Name: Review: PHILLY FOLKSONG SOCIETY Reviews
Subject: RE: Review: PHILLY FOLKSONG SOCIETY Reviews
JAZZ, TRADITION and EXTRADITION
In the midst of the greatest popularity of traditional music since the days of Jack Linkletter, it is easy to forget that the most influential root based genre has been jazz. Off rhythmic in color and blues-based in form, jazz is the high point of the evolution of wholly American music. If bluegrass is folk, then jazz is hyper-folk.
Much of jazz has become chamber oriented, as bluegrass will reform itself into wherever Nickle Creek, Tony Trishka, Bela Flek and the "Dawg Pound" take it.
I have been a fan (and occasional participant) of jazz since that day in a Sayre Jr. High School study hall when I heard my first jazz cut. It was the George Shearing Quintet playing Bob Maxwell's "Solfeggio". I was, at the time, a serious violin student. I took lessons twice a week, played in the orchestra and even had a low paying job in a string quartet, appearing at local Jewish organizations. Well, Mr. Shearing changed all that. I neglected the violin and started laying some pizzicato on the bass. I listened to every recording I could find and I read the books and the magazines and the liner notes. I can still tell you who played in Armstrong's Hot Five and who was on stage when Benny Goodman played Carnegie Hall. I knew, from their style, who was from Chicago and who was from Kansas City. My favorite performers were the trumpeters and the female vocalists. They seemed to share a clarity and directness that cut through the ensemble and speak most directly to me.
Among the trumpet masters, Louis Armstrong and Roy Eldridge were the most lyrical, Wynton Marcellis is the most skilled, but Clifford Brown was the most moving. The great singers included legends like Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday and Ella as well as lesser known geniuses like Gloria Lynn, Betty Carter, June Christie, Chris Connor and that dazzling duo, Jacky and Roy. This little resume is intended to flash my bona fides to comment on some CDs that have appeared on my sink side boom box this month.
Sherry Stomach has a new release (Sherry: Smooth, Dry & Cookin') that should be of interest to more than her coterie of friends and fans who have heard her at the PFS's Spring Thing and Fall Fling. Her approach to singing is well rooted in that mid 50's smooth style that served the white singers so well. Her singing is more innovative than Peggy Lee but less so than Betty Carter. Her voice is pleasantly shaky and textured and without the ceaseless slur that marked so many Keely Smith Wannabes. Sherry wrote all the songs on the album and a few are real keepers. I liked "Singing My Blues Away" which sounds like a lot of the songs from those old Doris Day. Jack Carson movies in the 40's. I also enjoyed "Snoozin' Blues". It has a real Peggy Lee sound. (If I seemed to demean Peggy Lee, I didn't mean to. She was a gifted singer and composer whose songs included "Fever", "Manana" and the score for "Lady and the Tramp"). Sherry is ably accompanied by keyboard whiz, Dan Kleiman, who swings with the best. The CD is available at many Philadelphia area outlets or directly from the artist. SSCanary@aol.com
Michael Miller for PFS
Reprinted from PFS "Tune Up," by permission