Cheryl Fisher

Joyride: Life In The Jazz Lane

Catfish Records IPJ10313

Cheryl Fisher, vocals; Terry Clarke, drums; Neil Swainson, string bass; Phillip Strange, piano; Reg Schwager, guitar; Eric Allison, saxophones, flute and clarinet

Long established in Canada, Cheryl Fisher took off two years to earn a master's degree in Jazz vocal performance from The University of Miami and now has released her fourth CD.

Fisher leads off with an original verse on "In A Mellow Tone" with easygoing graceful vocals backed by Swainson laying down the beat on bass and Schwager accompanying on an inventive guitar excursion. These two members of the band were long associated with George Shearing and that influence is apparent in their sensitive accompaniment.

"J'Adore" is a gorgeous original with flute accompaniment and Fisher shaping the melody with poetic precision. Fisher explores a dark sentimental "I'll Forget You" with dusky intonation. The title cut, "Joyride," features a subtly flavored piano solo and elegantly spare tenor saxophone solo to complement Fisher's rich phrasing. A delightful samba romp on "The Girl's Colors" demonstrates Fisher masterfully exploring a tricky torrent of words and soaring scatting. Fisher wrote lyrics for the Freddie Hubbard tune retitled as "I Found Love (Up Jumped Spring)" and her vocals fluidly work around the melody. A highlight is the Dave Frishberg tune "Dear Bix" punctuated by Fisher's poignant touch to the lyrics and smartly set off with an exquisite clarinet solo by Allison.

Fisher is an extraordinary vocalist who cunningly uses her instrument in such a way as to delight the senses with exquisite phrasing.

The intelligently written liner notes were written by Matt Schudel of The Washington Post. His description of the tunes and their origin is succinct and enjoyable reading. This CD contains a total of thirteen tracks and every one is superb. Most highly recommended!

by Dorothy L. Hill

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