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Tina May sings the Ray Bryant songbook

Artist: Tina May

Date of Release: 20/10/2006

Catalogue no: 33JAZZ150

Label: 33 Jazz

Price: £12

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Swinging My Life Away

5.50

2

 

I'll Blame it on the Samba

5.08

3

 

Hey You, Yes You

5.12

4

 

Little Lullaby

3.56

5

 

When the Wind Blows

4.56

6

 

One Fine Day

4.33

7

 

Talk to Me

5.05

8

 

If You Believe in Me

5.07

9

 

Lonely Man

4.21

10

 

Give the Drummer Some

3.15

11

 

If You Want to Shake a Lady

4.22

12

 

Fantasy For Two

5.38

13

 

Sweet Sounds

5.46

 

 

 

 

The 150th release from 33 Records is this fantastic album recorded in New York by Rudi Van Gelder, featuring Tina with an all star band led by the legendary pianist Ray Bryant - with great arrangements by Don Sickler. Band: Tina May / Len Bryant - vocals: Don Sickler - trumpet: Bobby Porcelli / Jay Brandford / Patience Higgins - saxophones: Tim Givens - bass: Vince Cherico - drums:

 

Reviews

 

22/01/2007 John Fordham

A trot through swing repertoire can sound like a routine exercise, but not in this transatlantic venture for the British singer Tina May. May has written lyrics for the music of the great American bop pianist Ray Bryant, and the pair of them - plus Bryant sibling Len on supporting vocals, and a crisp six-piece of seasoned pros - struck up a productive relationship across more than a dozen tunes, with May rarely sounding so skillfully assured and at ease. Bryant's glittering solos are the fulcrum of the music, his unquenchable freshness never hinting that he's now been playing this way for nearly 60 years. May is boppishly agile on the snappy Hey You, Yes You over Bryant's rocking piano, avoids the mawkish with her range and technique on Little Lullaby, and shows her improvisational class on the lazily swinging Talk to Me. There's plenty of Latin jazz but it's cliché-free, the glow of the piano sound testifies to the fact that studio legend Rudy Van Gelder was at the controls, the arrangements are great, and May might have made the recording of her life.

John Fordham
Friday December 22, 2006
The Guardian

 

06/11/2006 Chris Parker

Tina May
Sings the Ray Bryant Songbook
33JAZZ150
Tina May is the fortunate possessor of one of the purest, most flexible voices in the music; she is also a fine lyricist. On this, 33 Records' 150th release (a sterling achievement in itself), she demonstrates both facets of her art, negotiating Ray Bryant's often tricky tunes with grace and aplomb in addition to providing singularly appropriate lyrics to many of them.

Thus, the jaunty 'Tonk' is further enlivened by being adapted to accommodate a sparky lyric about the therapeutic value of jazz singing; 'Samba Elegante' gives rise to a touching tale of rhythmic awakening culminating in some clever fours-trading between May's vocals and Don Sickler's tastefully arranged horn section; 'Lullaby Petite' naturally becomes an affecting mother­child message, etc.

The odd collaboration with Ray's vocalist brother Len, some invigorating latin-inflected alto playing from Bobby Porcelli, and some plangent flugelhorn and trumpet playing from Sickler himself are among the recording's other positive features; all in all, this is both a fine tribute to an underrated composer (Bryant also provides some typically cogent, slyly appropriate piano solos) and a perfect showcase for one of the UK's most gifted singers

 

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