ALL ABOUT JAZZ
Jacqueline D. Tabor: The Lady In the Gown
By GEANNINE REID
November 9, 2018
The Pacific Northwest is ripe with talent from creative talents that lean towards the avant-garde, to rock-based jazz enterprises, to straight-ahead aficionados, to bluesy chanteuses. Vocalist Jacqueline D. Tabor fits squarely in the latter category. A native of Bellevue, Washington, Tabor graduated from Sammamish High School where she studied music under Jack Halm, a great jazz professor in his own right, who taught in the Bellevue School District and at Seattle Pacific University. Tabor went on to study Music and History at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she developed a deep understanding of the blues and the origins of jazz music. After taking a break from singing to focus on raising her children, Tabor returned to her hometown of Seattle in 2003. Once reacquainted with the beautiful Emerald City, she began performing more seriously in various clubs and competitions.
Tabor’s discography includes What a Wonderful World (2011), self-produced and Jazz in You (2012), also self-produced. Her 2018 endeavor, The Lady In the Gown, is supported by Cole Schuster on guitar, Greg Overhultz-Feingold on bass and Max Holmberg on drums. Tabor refers to this collaboration as a “dream team,” allowing her to experiment and expand her repertoire, knowing she has their support with any chances she might take musically.
“On Green Dophin Street” opens the album. The band establishes a flowing Latin groove that allows Tabor to play with the phrasing of the melodic line, pushing and pulling the rhythm and expanding and contracting the duration of key notes. The band effortlessly segues into a swing feel (following the standard feel changes), Tabor follows suit and swings right along with the band. The phrasing and note choices of Tabor’s final statement of the melody highlights the core feeling in a fertile manner that speaks to her creativity and interpretive skills. Schuster’s jazz vocabulary and articulation adds to the joy of the melody, as with his solo which exhibits both a tasteful and riveting development.
The temperature gets turned up for “That’s All.” Tabor’s vocal style draws on the history of jazz and the great singers before her. She has a relaxed style and just a spice of blues. Schuster’s playing is herculean as usual. The song is a testament to the band’s ability to listen and establish a feel as a unit. Tabor and Schuster interact with connected rapport during the melody, weaving in and out of each other’s lines. Holmberg and Feingold keep things stable and swinging, which allows Tabor and Schuster to explore both the rhythmic and harmonic possibilities of this standard.
Tabor infuses a bluesy sonority into her performances on The Lady In the Gown, making it her signature sound. A clear and concise reading of standards with a fresh approach and a lightning-rod original that is well-penned. Add in a soulful voice, that infuses the intuition of the blues and the instinct of jazz, and that is the Tabor sound.
Track Listing: On Green Dolphin Street; I Can’t Give You Anything but Love; Autumn Leaves; Misty; Lady In the Gown; Caravan; Tight; When Lights Are Low; Dindi; I Fall In Love Too Easily; That’s All; Mood Indigo; It Could Happen To You; Never Make A Move Too Soon; Crazy He Calls Me.
Personnel: Jacqueline Tabor: vocals; Cole Schuster: guitar; Greg Feingold: bass; Max Holmberg: drums.