By Marilyn Lester . . .
The summer has brought several debut CDs in a collection of noteworthy albums by four distaff singers of jazz and popular music.
Rebecca Angel Love Life Choices
Rebecca Angel’s debut album, Love Life Choices (Timeless Grooves Records RA360), features original work as well as selections from jazz, pop, soul and other genres. She’s a confident singer who easily adapts to these various musical styles. Her clear vocal tone and excellent phrasing helps put across each of the standards with authenticity; and as for her own work, it’s thoughtful. Angel is a songwriter with something to say. Highlights include her own “Thoughts and Prayers” and two Antônio Carlos Jobim classics, “Corcovado” and “Waters of March.”
Trineice Robinson All Or Nothing
Another debut album, by educator and author Trineice Robinson, at age 40, has gifted the jazz world with her vocal talent. All or Nothing (4RM Music Productions) features the all-star band of Don Braden (sax), Cyrus Chestnut (piano), Kenny Davis (bass), Vince Ector (drums), and guest musicians, pianist Phil Orr, guitarist Joe “Stretch” Vinson, percussionist Kahlil Kwame Bell and the horn section of Ian Kaufman, John Meko and Nils Mossblad. This august crew of musicians come together to play a mix of jazz classics, R&B/soul and original songs, reflecting Robinson’s diverse tastes and interests. Highlights are her own gospel-inspired original, “Let It Shine,” as well as her take on Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints,” with lyrics by former student Nandita Rao, along with a smooth rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?”
Marya Zimmet On the Road to Love
Another debut CD, Marya Zimmet’s On the Road to Love, represents the singer’s desire to focus on the next phase of her life after retiring from her “day job” as a school psychologist in NYC. She’s been a performer as well over the years, in cabaret, jazz and folk clubs. The CD offers an array of personal choices from folk/rock classics (Cat Stevens, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Annie Lennox) to the Great American Songbook (Sondheim, Arlen, Cole Porter) and beyond. Innovative arrangements are mostly by John DiMartino and Tedd Firth. Musical direction is by pianist Firth, with top-shelf Mark McLean on drums, Phil Palombi on bass, Pete Smith on guitar and Nathan Childers on sax/woodwinds. Highlights include a witty “If I Only Had a Brain” (Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg), an upbeat “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To” (Cole Porter) and an inspired “Calling You” (Bob Telson).
Alyssa Algood What Tomorrow Brings
Chicago-based vocalist Alyssa Allgood’s third studio album What Tomorrow Brings (Cellar Music Group) features a track list of jazz tunes not so commonly heard, such as Abbey Lincoln’s “Should’ve Been.” Allgood is an expressive vocalist and one of the jazz world’s premiere masters of scat and vocalese, on superb display in “There Are Such Things” (Stanley Adams, Abel Baer, George W. Meyer). Allgood is accompanied by guitarist Mike Allemana, bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer George Fludas, whose backup on “This Bitter Earth” (Clyde Otis) was also notable.