Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ann Hampton Callaway|
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Over the past few years, Ann Hampton Callaway has evolved from a top cabaret singer (e.g., Sibling Revelry, her brilliant collaboration with sister Liz Callaway) into an ever-improving jazz one. As she got over her eager-p... more »
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Over the past few years, Ann Hampton Callaway has evolved from a top cabaret singer (e.g., Sibling Revelry, her brilliant collaboration with sister Liz Callaway) into an ever-improving jazz one. As she got over her eager-puppylike tendency to overdo it (her scatting was often just too much), this wonderful album shows she's finally learned that simplicity is the hardest trick to master, but also the most rewarding. Backed by the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Baron, Frank Wess, and Lewis Nash, Callaway goes over a series of standards associated with Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, and, of course, Ella Fitzgerald (Callaway once made an album titled To Ella with Love). Despite such a tricky endeavor, Callaway puts her stamp on these songs. A newfound velvety smoothness and casual sense of ease to her voice are both enchanting. Not only is Signature Callaway's finest achievement yet, it's also one of the year's best jazz vocal records. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Another swing-heavy and heady musical confection
groucho | Chapel Hill, NC, USA | 01/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My, this woman has the loveliest (non-bel canto) and richest contralto voice this side of Sarah Vaughan. Its so sexy and warm and fuzzy and cozy and ...sheesh, just plain lovely -- I'm hooked and crazy over that voice! I first heard of her when the late great Ella Fitzgerald died and she did this incredibly swing-y tribute album called "For Ella" (although she did the album before Ella died even if the album came out a month after Ella's demise). The present album is a homage to her musical heroes from Ella to Betty Carter to Louis Armstrong to Annie Ross among others. And can she sing! Her schizo take of Annie Ross' "Twisted" ably supported by the New York Voices is outstanding. She added additional lyrics to this lovely Annie Ross song that is actually a vocalese version of Wardell Gray's intrumental version. The way Ann caressed the lyrics in "Tenderly" reminds you of the great cabaret singer Andrea Marcovicci. Both women sing the song with a great heart. I can't recommend this album enough, you should hear this to believe it. If you like less helium voices, this woman has the chops. Trust me."
Leaving a mark
Samuel Chell | Kenosha,, WI United States | 02/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'll admit I've always had problems with performances that are tributes to other performances, but Ann's focus is as much on the material as on the influential performer. This album is a thoughtfully programmed and carefully produced labor of love with impressive musicianship on the parts of the vocalist as well as a luminous supporting cast of jazz stars, ranging from Wynton Marsalis to Freddie Cole and the New York Voices. All the same, the performances don't engage me as much as those on some other Callaway recordings. A tune like "Kiss to Build a Dream On" wears like a comfortable old shoe, but it's still a matter of finding the right foot. Ann's voice contains a kind of dramatic urgency that realizes its full potential, it strikes me, on a complex, poignant Rodgers & Hart ballad. Still, given its polish and variety, this album may be the best introduction to a gifted and compelling, if not virtuosic, singer for the majority of listeners. Ann deserves a larger, jazz-specific base of listeners. I sense that as yet she has not been afforded as much recognition as Cassandra, Karyn, Nnena, etc. A "live" club-date album with a swinging and supportive piano trio followed by a tour might help change that."
Truly, a tribute
Richard Benson | Plant City, FL USA | 08/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having heard Ann Hampton Callaway's tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, when Signature was released, I didn't have my usual reservations about buying a "tribute" album. I'm happy to report that my confidence paid off for me. Ms. Callaway doesn't give us a "Billie Holiday song" and a "Sarah Vaughan song" and a "Louis Armstrong song." Rather, she gives us a CD of songs, sung only the way Ann can sing them, and she uses those songs to tell the listener how much admiration and love she has for the original artist. For me, it's exactly what a "tribute" album should be. And it's another amazing CD from the phenomenal artist that is Ann Hampton Callaway. I would love to name which songs are highlights for me, but I love them all. "Mr. Paganini" is a real standout, but I truly love all the songs on this CD."