Nothing Else But You
All The Things You Are
The Look of Love
I Thought About You
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.