Julia RichView in iTunes
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A preacher's daughter from Tennessee, Julia Rich's road to becoming a jazz vocalist has been a winding one. Graduating from a job as a singing waitress in 1980, she started doing gigs in clubs in Chattanooga. During this time she worked with bass player Eddie Edwards and Stanley Turrentine organist Butch Cornell. They directed her to the work of the likes of Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, and other jazz divas. Since then she has acquainted herself with the styles of Carmen McRae, Johnny Hartman, and Bonny Raitt (for earthiness) as she developed her own way with the vocal repertoire. The big break came in 1985 when she joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra as a "girl singer," touring 48 to 50 weeks in the U.S. and throughout the world. Still with the band, she has been given the duties of road manager. Her first album, I'll Take Romance, was released in June of 1999. Self-produced, this session features classic standards delivered in a straightforward manner by Rich's extremely pleasant voice. She is ably supported by outstanding jazz musicians, not the least of which is tenor saxophonist Ricky Woodard. A crystal clear voice, sound phrasing, and the ability to establish rapport with the listener through her understanding of the played material characterizes her performances. Hopefully, there will be more albums from Rich in the not-too-distant future with a somewhat more adventurous set of songs than what was on her first CD. ~ Dave Nathan