JACKIE RYAN, LISTEN HERE


The primacy of Jackie Ryan’s affecting singing style is showcased to near perfection on “Listen Here” (Open Art) an ebullient date with bassist/arranger John Clayton and a host of top-flight musicians (pianist Gerald Clayton, drummer Obed Calvaire, guitarist Graham Dechter and the horns of Rickey Woodard and Gilbert Castellanos) who frame the beguiling Ms. Ryan with warm musical precision. Ryan embraces an unusual mix of tunes (standards, jazz/pop tunes by Bob Dorough and Dave Frishberg, an atypical Spanish song) that bring out the best of her deep, sultry voice. There’s a positive trend in jazz these days to embrace originality, particularly with vocalists of a certain age, yet Ryan is quite the pro and so comfortable with her playlist (and her band) that she gives these songs more purpose and reflection. Abbey Lincoln’s “Throw It Away” is a standard that’s been firmly adopted by many jazz performers now, but Ryan’s reading captures its melancholy spirit better than most. I especially love the breezy “How Little We Know” that’s augmented by Clayton’s glittering accompaniment. And the upbeat “Rip Van Winkle” has a catchy melody that shows off Ryan’s effervescent pipes with a delightful panache. Throughout, “Listen Here” maintains an elevated mood with wide swathes of syncopated swing that mesh splendidly with Ryan’s demeanor. “Listen Here” is reminiscent of the great recordings from Concord Records in the 80’s by Rosemary Clooney, Gene Harris and Scott Hamilton, which Ryan, Clayton and Woodard, respectively, conjure up and it gives listeners much to savor of the indelible Ryan and her band throughout its engaging playlist. (14 tracks; 58:04 minutes)  www.jackieryan.com

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JAZZ IN SPACE: JACKIE RYAN, LISTEN HERE

Friday, January 25, 2013

JACKIE RYAN, LISTEN HERE


The primacy of Jackie Ryan’s affecting singing style is showcased to near perfection on “Listen Here” (Open Art) an ebullient date with bassist/arranger John Clayton and a host of top-flight musicians (pianist Gerald Clayton, drummer Obed Calvaire, guitarist Graham Dechter and the horns of Rickey Woodard and Gilbert Castellanos) who frame the beguiling Ms. Ryan with warm musical precision. Ryan embraces an unusual mix of tunes (standards, jazz/pop tunes by Bob Dorough and Dave Frishberg, an atypical Spanish song) that bring out the best of her deep, sultry voice. There’s a positive trend in jazz these days to embrace originality, particularly with vocalists of a certain age, yet Ryan is quite the pro and so comfortable with her playlist (and her band) that she gives these songs more purpose and reflection. Abbey Lincoln’s “Throw It Away” is a standard that’s been firmly adopted by many jazz performers now, but Ryan’s reading captures its melancholy spirit better than most. I especially love the breezy “How Little We Know” that’s augmented by Clayton’s glittering accompaniment. And the upbeat “Rip Van Winkle” has a catchy melody that shows off Ryan’s effervescent pipes with a delightful panache. Throughout, “Listen Here” maintains an elevated mood with wide swathes of syncopated swing that mesh splendidly with Ryan’s demeanor. “Listen Here” is reminiscent of the great recordings from Concord Records in the 80’s by Rosemary Clooney, Gene Harris and Scott Hamilton, which Ryan, Clayton and Woodard, respectively, conjure up and it gives listeners much to savor of the indelible Ryan and her band throughout its engaging playlist. (14 tracks; 58:04 minutes)  www.jackieryan.com

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