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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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JERI BROWN

Echoes; Live at Catalina Jazz Club

JONGLEUR PRODUCTIONS
JP CDDVD-700

 

 

Nothing Else But You

Echoes

All The Things You Are

Echo Thoughts

The Look of Love

I Thought About You

African Echo

Afro Blue

I Got Rhythm

No Moon At All

The Nearness of You

Jeri Brown (vocal) with Mon David (vocal); Woody Woods (piano); Trevor Ware (bass); Clayton Cameron (drums)

Recorded live February 2013 at the Catalina Jazz Cub

Includes Bonus DVD: Echoes Live; concert footage [56:23 + DVD 45:22]

 

Jeri Brown has a fine track-record – pun intended – and is admired as a versatile vocalist with a propensity for etiolated scat singing, of which there is a great deal on this CD and DVD. The DVD is quite crudely done with some occasionally chaotic camera work. The definition is only so-so and there are a lot of repetitious inductions before each song. The CD and DVD do not cover identical ground – the CD is ten minutes longer. Some of the interview footage is worth watching, but there are no revelations.

It’s probably unfair of me to note that I preferred the performance of the rhythm section to the featured vocalist and that, indeed, of the guest singer, Mon David, who joins Brown for a series of increasingly baroque extemporisations, all scat-based. Clearly there is rapport between the two, and they are very visual performers, but a little of this goes a very long way with me, and it was the piano pick-ups and the watchfully musical Trevor Ware and Clayton Cameron who inspired me most. I should add that the band seems to be enjoying itself, so maybe they know better than me.

Brown’s mentor was Leon Thomas but her howls, and high screeches are unrelieved. The timbral conjunction of her voice with David’s warm but exhibitionist baritone make for instructive listening. It’s telling that Woody Woods takes so few solos. When he does it’s a relief. I also wish to goodness that Brown would use the lower part of her voice more often – it’s attractive when she does – but she clearly feels that showboating up high is the way to go. Not for me. This was a really wearying listen.

Jonathan Woolf



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