Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Live East/West: Birdland/Yoshi's 2CD Set
Genres: Jazz, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
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The Next Best Thing
prisrob | New EnglandUSA | 03/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In memory of Bob Z, an Amazon reviewer.
Jacqui Naylor's CD "Birdland- East, Yoshi's West" was sent to me by Ruby Records because someone read my review of another artist and liked my words. "How good could this CD be," I thought. Well, after 24 tracks I know. Jacqui Naylor is a fabulous artist. And, her co-writer, arranger, piano, organ and electric guitar player, Art Khu is an artist to be congratulated. It was the music that first grabbed me. The sweet, strong chords that bounce and reverberate off the walls, and then that voice, that has an edge, a crisp contrast to the smooth melody of the song.
A seemingly smart move, 12 tracks from the East, New York City at Birdland, a famous jazz club and then another 12 tracks to the West at Yoshi's in Oakland., California. The first track from the East, "City By The Bay" is, of course, San Francisco and we learn of the love of the city and what it means to Ms Naylor. Most of the songs on the East Coast are written by Naylor/Khu. This is a team that takes jazz seriously - "Before I'm Gone" and "Peace In My Lifetime" are my favorites. Tough, take no prisoner, and wishes that should come true. On the West Coast, Ms Naylor loves Carole King and her rendition of "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" has her take but the flavor is easy to recognize. Of the two coasts- neither is a favorite, each has its own style and substance. The jazz flavor with rhythm and blues overtures and a hint of gospel.
Jacqui Naylor grew up on California and learned to love jazz through her parent's antique jazz instruments. She went to college to study clothes design, but somewhere along the way she discovered that jazz and singing was really her first love. While she took up her new love singing of the jazz; she continued her work with design and this brought her to New York City. A city she has learned to love. She has sung in both coasts and traveled extensively. Her talent lies not only in her style that emulates Billie Holiday and June Christy, but in her writing. My toes tapping to the beat of "the Wind" and her new love, "in that fine café, you took my breath away".
"JazzTimes" proclaims it best, "In the never-ending 'next big thing' sweepstakes, bet on Jacqui". And I would add Art Khu. The next best thing to being there in a jazz hall or cabaret is listening to this CD. Highly recommended. prisrob
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 03/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jacqui Naylor is a strong creative force on the music scene and we are better off for it! Her talent is extraordinarily exquisite and she performs with all her might, sharing her raw, honest emotion with the audience to create an experience you deserve to experience! This CD is an excellent example of her exceptional talent. This is also a great CD to start off with if you're not yet familiar with Ms. Naylor's unusually strong talents. Why? Because Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, George and Ira Gershwin, Pink Floyd and the team of Rodgers and Hart ALL co-exist peacefully in Jacqui's rather extensive repertoire. Jacqui possesses the rare ability to keep an open mind and therefore she chose to expose herself to many different styles of music. Few people truly achieve this open-mindedness. Jacqui then excels when performing her songs in a very intimate vocal jazz session that leaves you thirsting for more! Her open minded qualities combined with her natural talents produce a superior performance many other singers could only hope to equal. Her voice itself is a musical instrument; she has a broad vocal range and she even writes her own lyrics to some of the songs here! Her deportment is sensuous, unruffled-and this only serves to strengthen her performance even further. Indeed, her strong presence demands attention; but this is not a bad thing because giving her your total attention is as easy as breathing!
The CD opens strong with "Thank You Baby," a sumptuous love ballad celebrating the joys of her love for another. She sings "Money" by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd fame very well. Then there's the song "Once In A Lifetime," from the movie Down And Out In Beverly Hills. "We'll Fly" has an especially good arrangement. Jacqui's performance of "But Not For Me" has a creative, thoughtful and even upbeat (!) arrangement. "It'll Be Fine" seems to be her expression of her own self-confidence. The two CD set ends so beautifully with "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight!"
Jacqui is aided well by her team. Art Khu does a great job on the piano on "Cheese Puff Daddy;" and look for Alison Evans and Rebekah Ekberg on background vocals. Art also plays the electric guitar and the organ on this two CD set. Other band members also work hard to enhance the concert.
Despite the fact that the two CD set was recorded at different times on the two opposite American coasts (CD one recorded live at New York's Birdland; CD two at Yoshi's in Oakland, California) Jacqui's performance is quite strong and consistent throughout. Critics listening to Jacqui have been reminded of great talents including Billie Holiday and Ella. I sincerely believe that Jacqui is in this class and I highly recommend this two CD set for jazz fans; lovers of all music; and those who want to experience Jacqui's gift for the first time.
Magic, pure magic--tell me more and then some
SF Senior | San Francisco | 05/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I picked up my copy of East/West after attending Jacqui Naylor's sensational performance at the Plush Room (April 2005). So we had the benefit of an up-close in-person treatment of many of the songs in this album--actually a double disc delight. We then took the album with us on a three day trip the next day--so we got a good chance to savor it. Here's what I think.
Quality production, top rank musicians, a singer who is threatening Diana Krall's supremacy in versatility and is head to head with Karrin Allyson in singing the blues. The venues on the East and West coasts are known to jazz people everywhere--great idea to combine them. If you go to jazz shows then you'll know that these rooms bring out the best in the artists. Nevertheless, there is nothing to replace seeing Jacqui and her group in person. Superb.
I grabbed the West disc for my car, my wife grabbed the East disc for her car--what a way to ensure family harmony! Among the many, many songs, you'll realy enjoy "Don't Let the Bastard Get You Down" and "Thank You Baby". The live audience loved Jacqui's introduction when she told about KCSM playing the Bastard song and getting phone calls prtesting the B-word! (In the Bay Area!!)
This talented lady does June Christy one better and that is saying something. After the live show I told her she had an instinct for the blues. Then I heard East/West and there it was! Thanks Jacqui!
Here's an "inside story" which you might enjoy. I emailed Jacqui before her Plush Room show and asked her to sing "Tell Me More, and More, and Then Some" which is on her first album ("Jacqui")and she obliged in the live show. Let me tell you, that brought the house down. AFTER the show I was a block away and people were STILL telling me how they loved the song and the show. So buy "Jacqui" and buy "East/West". In other words, we have a star on our hands, ladies and gents.