Etta Jones, vocals; Houston Person, tenor saxophone; Steve Turre, trombone; Tom Aalfs, violin; Russell Malone, guitar; Norman Simmons, piano; John Webber, bass; Kenny Washington, drums.
Among the indicators of a musician's formal ability is the degree to which she or he is able to internalize the material at hand, and convincingly refashion it in a most personal manner. A few grand masters possess the singular ability to infuse standard tunes with their lifeblood. Etta Jones is among them. This beautiful collection of tunes from the Sammy Cahn songbook bears witness to a most highly evolved artistic sensibility. Ms. Jones, eloquent and timeless voice speaks directly to the heart.
The rhythmic virtuosity evident in the familiar compositions, "Second Time Around," "I Should Care," "Saturday Night," "It's You or No One," and "Put em in a Box" demands repeated listening. Those seeking a perfect example of the "laid back" rhythmic concept should pay close attention to these marvelous tracks. The connection between this music and the gestures of dance is unmistakable. Person's wondrous countermelodies are certainly worth transcription. And what a marvelous rhythm section! Simmons, beautiful touch and inspired accompaniment recalls the work of the late, great Sonny Clark.
by James D. Armstrong, Jr.
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