Ladies take center stage - Rita Coolidge, Jude Johnstone, Cyntia M.
Rita Coolidge takes center stage.
What can you say about Rita Coolidge that has not been said about this versatile and dynamic singer? A career that spans 4 decades, 40+ releases covering genres from rock, pop, R&B, country, jazz and folk; she now returns to the realm of jazz with her first release on the Concord Records label entitled And So Is Love. Singing jazz standards such as Cry Me a River, Save Your Love for Me, I Thought About You, Sentimental Journey and more, along with an updated interpretation of her smash hit, We’re All Alone, this is a release that shows Rita, with her smoky sound, has not lost her love and passion for jazz; her first jazz release was with Barbara Carroll in the 1970’s. Influenced by jazz greats Peggy Lee, Nancy Wilson, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sarah Vaughan she approached Concord Records about doing a jazz release, and they believed in her, and from this writer’s perspective they will be aptly rewarded. Accompanied by the legendary Herb Alpert on trumpet on the track Estaté, the release was produced by Jimmy Haslip, bassist and co-founder of the Yellowjackets, and John Burk who produced the multi-Grammy winning CD Ray Charles: Genius Loves Company, Rita surrounds herself with a winning team as she wraps her soul around each song providing a new experience and sound to the standards. Rita Coolidge fans, and jazz fans in general, will not be disappointed with this release, in fact I would not be surprised if we don’t hear more about And So Is Love at Grammy time. And So Is Love was released on June 28th, 2005.
Jude Johnstone - "On A Good Day"
Great storytellers provide a window into another time, another place, and they weave experiences that people can relate to, which brings me to Jude Johnstone and her latest release entitled "On a Good Day", released on Bojak Records. Jude was influenced by songwriter Tom Waits, and as she stated, “I thought back to my upbringing in Maine and just started writing and out came the songs for On a Good Day.” Jude is an award-winning singer-songwriter for over 20 years, whose songs have been sung by Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Bette Midler, Trisha Yearwood, Jennifer Warnes and Johnny Cash among others. On a Good Day follows her debut release entitled Coming of Age, which was released in 2002, and which was very well received. Jude is joined by her friends, Bonnie Raitt (Hard Lessons, Long Way Back), Jackson Brown (Hold on, Long Way Back, Pen and Paper), Julie Miller (Old and Gray), Rodney Crowell (Evelyn, Deep Water), and Charles Duncan (Hard Lessons, Hold On, Pen and Paper) who also provides backing vocals and instrumentals throughout. She is a soulful and deep singer-songwriter who projects herself throughout On a Good Day. The track Hard Lessons stands out for me with lyrics that we all can identify with, “When I’ve learned these hard lessons, I’m going to cherish my reward.” A soulful, spirited Jude Johnstone leaves all she can give within each track of On a Good Day, listen and read the lyrics along with each song, and let your mind travel; it will be a memorable journey.
Cytia M. - "Bistro Blue"
Jazz is an interpretive genre and Cyntia M. provides her interpretation to French standards with her extraordinary voice. The tracks on "Bistro Blue", released on BEPOP Records, are sung in French, and Francophiles, who are very particular, have raved about her pronunciation and interpretation. Although I don’t speak French, I truly appreciate musicians who select songs that meld with their voices, and Cyntia M. has done just that. The jazz sound is great and her voice is in perfect tune with the instruments. As producer Jeff Eyrich, bassist for Dave’s True Story, said, “We went for the real deal”, and with Bistro Blue they achieved this and more. Recording the session with live music is very rare, but it proved to be the perfect muse to Cyntia M.’s vocals, and Bistro Blue was born. Jazz standards include: Padam Padam, La mer, Vous oui passez sans me voir, Nuit et jour (Night and Day), La vie en rose, Sous le ciel de Paris, Oue reste-t-il de nos amours, Les feuilles mortes, J’attendrai-Je suis seule ce soir, C’est si bon, and After You’ve Gone. I heard volume 2 of Bistro Blue is in the planning stages, I cannot wait, but I can hold off for a time as I know that I have many more spins of this disc to enjoy all the subtleties.
Note – Music Scene is not sponsored by any third party. All music that is written about in Music Scene are the views and experiences of the writer, and reflects a compilation of music, sent to us by musicians, acquired during travel to unique destinations, recommended by our country host or a local resident, or just happening upon a music event, or searching out a Jazz club, or other live music venue.
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