Tori Robinson with The Vintage Jazzmen

New Orleans Gospel

FA 455

Tori Robinson, vocals; Dan Vernhettes, trumpet; Boss Queraud, clarinet; Freddy Legendre, trombone; Siphan Upravan, banjo; Enzo Mucci , contrabass; Guillaume Nouaux, drums; Enzo Mucci, banjo; Yves Buffetrille, contrabass; Keith Minter, drums; Jean-Luc Guiraud, drums; Tommy Sancton, clarinet; Bernard Brimeur, contrabass.

Tori Robinson comes out fighting in "Tell me What Kind Of Man Jesus Is"; my first impulse was to hide, until I realized she was not actually in the room with me. No hidden depths to this CD, we know exactly where we are from the outset; in Church and Tori takes no prisoners. She does not talk if she can shout, into, we fondly imagine, a microphone the size of a cookie tin. We are caught in that powerful, heady, raw emotional mix of improvisational Gospel and old style New Orleans Jazz.

The personnel changes a bit because it is recorded over four venues, but this French band really lays it on; wonderfully clipped phrasing, an acid clarinet, Freddy Legendre on trombone sounds like a rampaging Bull Elephant and vibratos strong enough to whisk a soufflé. Often at the start of a track the banjo will meander amiably off on its own, the others catch up in their own time; in fact, such is their intensity at times I imagine they were dangerously close to a cardiac arrest.

All the old favorites are here; "Down By The Riverside", "What A Friend We Have In Jesus". The quieter numbers, like "He Touched Me", are played with a wonderfully exaggerated plaintive wail. If this CD does not move something in you, then you should see a doctor.

by Ferdinand Maylin

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