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You Don't Know Me

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Album Review

Rebecca Parris, like many other jazz artists, sought to make a studio recording that is fairly close to what one of her live engagements might sound like. Because she utilizes her regular rhythm section and sticks to gig-tested songs and familiar arrangements while adding some spice with a few all-star guest soloists, You Don't Know Me is truly a memorable recording. Parris is a slightly husky alto who knows the nuances of jazz singing, she doesn't go through the motions mouthing the lyrics but acts as if she has lived them; she also arranged the songs in collaboration with pianist Brad Hatfield. A perfect example is her almost-conversational interpretation of Duke Ellington's ballad "I Don't Know About You," where she lags behind the beat and makes it seem like she's conveying it over coffee. She's not particularly a fan of scat singing, since too many vocalists have no clue as to how to properly do it, but when Parris chooses to incorporate it into her brisk treatment of "All of You," backed by vibraphone virtuoso Gary Burton and her regular bassist Peter Kontrimas, it's clear that she knows what she's doing. Tenor sax great Houston Person is on hand for Parris' moving rendition of the late Etta Jones' signature song "Don't Go to Strangers," while another fine tenorist, Jerry Bergonzi, makes a guest appearance on her snappy setting of "East of the Sun (And West of the Moon)." This CD is a perfect example of what can happen when a talented jazz vocalist gets her way in the studio, something that doesn't happen often enough!


Born: 28 December 1951 in Needham, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Rebecca Parris is a swinging singer with a gruff voice and a no-nonsense approach that sometimes makes her seem like the Etta James of jazz. The Boston-based vocalist sang in musicals with her father in summer stock when she was only six. She actually began her professional career performing rock for a decade, not fully dedicating herself to jazz until the early 1980's. Parris has since attained a cult following and gradually become better-known to the larger jazz public. She made her recording debut...
Full bio
You Don't Know Me, Rebecca Parris
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  • €8.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 08 January 2007

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