Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Cal Tjader, Mary Stallings|
Cal Tjader Plays Mary Stallings Sings
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Latin Music
Listen to Samples
Mary Stallings' First Album is NOT the First Mary Stallings'
Gary L Connely | Hercules, CA | 10/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If this was Japan, San Francisco jazz legend Mary Stallings would have been declared a "Living National Treasure" by now. If she is not the best jazz singer working today, she is certainly amoung the best. She has a brassy contralto voice with a little grit in the lower register, a four octave range, and an easy, swinging style. If you like main stream vocal jazz, Ms Stallings is the real deal. But if you've not heard her before, her first album, "Cal Tjader Plays, Mary Stallings Sings," is NOT the first record you should buy.
"Cal Tjader Plays, Mary Stallings Sings," was recorded in 1961 when Ms Stallings was 22 years old. For reasons that don't really matter here, and although she continued to sing professionally, Ms Stallings did not record another album until she cut "Fine and Mellow," thirty years later. A lot can happen to a person's voice and technique in thirty years. When Ms Stallings was 22, her voice was huge - it was barely under control - and like so many young singers, she tried to grab every song by the throat. Today, her voice is more refined - more elegant - and she treats her songs gently. If you've not heard Ms Stallings before, I suggest that you start with "I Waited for You," (a wonderful studio set with the Gene Harris Trio) or "Live at the Village Vanguard," (a live album that really captures the presence and sound of Ms Stallings on stage) - and then come back to "Cal Tjader...."
"Cal Tjader Plays, Mary Stallings Sings" is a set of standards including "It Ain't Necessarily So," "Just Squeeze Me," "Why Don't You Do Right?" and "Ain't Misbehavin', (I'm Saving My Love for You)." There's more blues in Ms Stallings' youthful delivery than there is today. And her talent is obvious.
And then there's Cal Tjader - not every jazz fan's favorite band leader. But here, Mr Tjader does fine work - his vibes complement and support Ms Stallings' vocals, but never get in her way. Paul Horn does his usual excellent flute work, Clare Fisher or Lonnie Hewitt are at the piano, Victor Venegas or Freddie Schreiber handle the bass and Johnny Rae takes care of the drums. These are top notch players and nobody just mails it in.
The sonics are excellent. The album was remastered by Joe Tarantino at Fantasy Studio in 1991. It's not audiophile quality, but even if you have a high end stereo system, you won't have any complaints."