Wanda Stafford, vocals; Si Perkoff, piano; Michael Zisman, bass; Vince Lateano, drums.
This was the last recording made at the San Francisco club, 'Jazz at Pearls', and Wanda Stafford and her backing trio does it proud. A swinging, musical set, opening with "Gypsy In My Soul", Ms Stafford, with her slightly smoky voice, displays a timing and bluesy feeling that makes for rich listening. There is the splendid intuitive backing group of Michael Zisman on bass, Vince Lateano on drums and the remarkably poised and cohesive piano of Si Perkoff, covering and coloring Wanda's spaces with authority and support.
The given edge of a live performance and pure improvisation throughout gives the whole CD a buzz. Wanda conveys a story in her songs; she is articulate and immaculate in her presentation, with an added laid-back bluesy shrewdness. "Here I am In Love Again" is a good example of her well paced style and Si Perkoff adds a sensitive solo to enhance it. With "Everybody Gets the Blues", she is in her element, dragging and turning each phrase with an undisguised relish, Perkoff's piano sits right on her shoulder throughout. This CD is excellent value.
by Ferdinand Maylin
(This CD can be found in the Jazz Now Direct mail order catalog.)
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