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I've Got Your Number

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Album Review

The torch has been passed, Betty Carter is gone, and Jeri Brown is in line here and now. On this, her seventh CD for the Canadian Justin Time label, Brown continues to mature as a jazz interpreter, and proves a cherry picker in terms of choosing world class back-up. As on her previous CD "Zaius, " she's got John Hicks on piano throughout, Curtis Lundy and Wali Muhammad on four cuts, Avery Sharpe and Sangoma Everett for another three on bass and drums respectively. David Murray plays tenor sax on two tracks, Don Braden on another one, and two selections reprise the appearance as on "Zaius" of vocalist Leon Thomas. The difference is that these duels with Thomas are released posthumously following his untimely death in mid-1999. Brown's voice is getting decidedly better and better, he lower register center profoundly richening, and her confidence building. You should further appreciate in Brown, traces of Sarah Vaughan's range and expressiveness, Ella Fitzgerald's clear enunciation, and Carter and Ella's super scatting powers. This combination produces a singer unlike any other on the current scene. Brown's eminent scatability is fully pronounced on the title track, the wild 5/4 duet with Thomas and Braden plus ensemble on "Long As You're Living," and in a more undercurrent, low down arena with sympatico ostinato bass (Lundy) on "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise." There's a 12 1/2 minute, lugubrious slow version of "You Must Believe In Spring," seperate verses sung in French & English with a long Hicks solo, a subtle rubato format for Brown and Hicks only during "The Nearness Of You," and other beautifully turned out ballads "Midnight Sun" (w/Murray, ) and the closer "What Goes Around." Murray's other feature, the Gerry Niewood waltz "Joy" has Brown & the saxophonist in a surreal unison setting that bears a second or third listening. The cherry-on-the sundae is the modal, Coltrane-ish Thomas piece "Echoes," as they trade yodels, yelps, oohs and ahhhs. This CD is easily as tasteful and skilled as her others, but not yet her magnum opus. She's getting close, and has surpassed others, including several more popular singers in term of heart, soul and warmth. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi


Born: 1952 in Mississippi

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

One of the top up-and-coming jazz singers of the 1990s, the Montreal-based Jeri Brown came from a musical family (her grandfather played sax and her uncle was a trumpeter). After growing up in St. Louis and graduating college, she toured Europe singing light opera and spirituals before switching to jazz. An excellent scat singer and an...
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I've Got Your Number, Jeri Brown
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