Bravo to Test of Time Records!
Rick Cornell | Reno, Nv USA | 08/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"...for releasing this neglected classic--and with such pure, crystalline sound to boot! (The liner notes imply that the original was released in 1975 on Blue Note; but actually, it was on a tiny label, "Eastwind.")
This was Sheila Jordan's second album, released when she was 47-years-old. Obviously, she must have been a mom in the not-too-recent past relative to 1975, as the first 5 songs (side 1 on the original l.p.) are dedicated to children. The whole album is inspired.
Sheila Jordan has one of the most interesting singing voices in all non-classical music. She starts small--almost breathy. But she can transform her voice to a big, pure sound quickly. She probably has the largest dramatic vocal range of any singer around whom I've heard.
The accompanying musicians on this disc (Alan Pasqua(p.), Norman Marnell (ten. sax), Cameron Brown (b) and Beaver Harris (d)) are equally as versatile. Sometimes they seem like "outside musicians looking in"; other times they are more like "Inside musicians looking out." Whichever the case, the 5 artists create very stimulating art. I particularly was taken with their versions of "God Bless the Child", "Confirmation" (which sounds nothing like the vocalese version of Bird's classic done by the Manhattan Transfer) and "Pearlie's Swine".
Sheila Jordan is a neglected artist. She is one who is said to refuse to compromise, which accounts in part for her relatively small catalogue. This consistently outstanding album is testament to that. Very highly recommended. RC