Talkin’ Broadway reviews LIZ TERRELL, IT’S ALL RIGHT WITH ME

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Liz Terrell

Talking Broadway

LIZ TERRELL, IT’S ALL RIGHT WITH ME

 

Westmont Records
CD and Digital

In my years of reviewing debut solo recordings by female vocalists covering the Great American Songbook and jazz classics, my head spins when considering the sheer number of them. But it’s all right with me when, like with It’s All Right with Me by Virginia-based Liz Terrell, it’s something so accomplished and with a personal stamp and stance. The two Cole Porter pieces, “Night and Day” and the one giving the release its title, are drenched in moody atmosphere and longing. The same can be said for Elvis Costello’s attractively sophisticated “Almost Blue.” There’s nothing “almost” about the way the singer takes command of her material, taking lyrics and moods seriously, wrapping her alto voice around the darker material. The stoicism and stifling of tears on the Cy Coleman/ Joseph McCarthy Jr. declaration “I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out of My Life” shows in-the-moment thought in spinning out its phrasing.

But the 11 tracks are not by any means mired in dire doom and gobs of gloom. “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” which could justify a swerve towards self-pity, bounces back with a fast-and-forceful punch and swing. And there’s cozy serenity in a splendid three-item festival of Fats Waller signatures and in “Time After Time” (the Cyndi Lauper/ Rob Hyman composition, not the earlier same-named standard). But the hopeful optimism for love as the prescribed potent panacea for “What the World Needs Now” is measured and cautious, adding impactful depth to the ’60s hit that can otherwise feel unrealistically sugar-coated.

Liz Terrell wears her jazz hat with style, going with the flow, scatting a bit with abandon, lingering in the languid, in the groove on the fleet tracks, at home with “Blue Monk” (Thelonious Monk’s bebop standby with singer Abbey Lincoln’s lyric). Spotlight is shared with the five fine musicians, with plenty of time given over to instrumental passages. They are bassist Chris Brydge (with whom the singer has done duo shows), pianist Daniel Clarke, sax player Eddie Williams, guitarist Alan Parker, and drummer Emre Kartari. Most of the cuts are on the long side, permitting space for all to be heard to full advantage and deeply explore the music and lyrics–and to relish them, which these six people seem to do. I think lucky listeners will do the same.

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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