MARY STALLINGS, DREAM

Mary Stallings, a singer whose style and phrasing has a lot in common with the great Carmen McRae, really cooks when paired with a strong pianist. For their second record together, “Dream,” (High Note Records) Stallings gets a major assist from Eric Reed, who bathes the singer in candlelight on slow burners like “Moon Ray” and the gentle bossa, “Hey Now.” Elsewhere, the duo goes up-tempo on Cole Porter’s “Dream Dancing” and the dazzling original “Never Knew” written by and co-performed with Stallings’ daughter, Adriana Evans. A breakout star when he played in Wynton Marsalis group, Reed has remained a sensitive pianist and his gospel-tinged comps and solos underscore the heartache Stallings projects on tunes like “Mad About The Boy” and “That Old Black Magic.” Under appreciated as a top-tier singer, “Dream” is an outstanding recording where Stallings exercises great taste, fierce chops and a remarkable depth of emotion. With Hamilton Price on bass and Ralph Penland on drums. (11 tracks; 49:12 minutes)  www.jazzdepot.com
   

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JAZZ IN SPACE: MARY STALLINGS, DREAM

Saturday, January 1, 2011

MARY STALLINGS, DREAM

Mary Stallings, a singer whose style and phrasing has a lot in common with the great Carmen McRae, really cooks when paired with a strong pianist. For their second record together, “Dream,” (High Note Records) Stallings gets a major assist from Eric Reed, who bathes the singer in candlelight on slow burners like “Moon Ray” and the gentle bossa, “Hey Now.” Elsewhere, the duo goes up-tempo on Cole Porter’s “Dream Dancing” and the dazzling original “Never Knew” written by and co-performed with Stallings’ daughter, Adriana Evans. A breakout star when he played in Wynton Marsalis group, Reed has remained a sensitive pianist and his gospel-tinged comps and solos underscore the heartache Stallings projects on tunes like “Mad About The Boy” and “That Old Black Magic.” Under appreciated as a top-tier singer, “Dream” is an outstanding recording where Stallings exercises great taste, fierce chops and a remarkable depth of emotion. With Hamilton Price on bass and Ralph Penland on drums. (11 tracks; 49:12 minutes)  www.jazzdepot.com
   

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