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Girl Talk

Vanessa Rubin

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Album Review

Jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin is joined by a stellar cast on her second Telarc release. Bassist David Williams and drummer Lewis Nash hold down the rhythm, joined alternately by pianist/arrangers Larry Willis and Cedar Walton, tenor saxophonists Eric Alexander and Javon Jackson, and trombonist Steve Davis. Rubin's flexible voice covers a wide-ranging repertoire, from standards to Sondheim ("Loving You") to adult contemporary (Bill Withers and Larry Carlton's "Whatever Happens"). She also contributes a yearning original ballad, the closing "If You Ever Go Away." The album is memorable mostly for its offbeat tracks, however: a jazz-waltz take on "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" (with the bridge in a snappy four); Walter Bishop's novelty number, "Sex Is a Misdemeanor (The More You Miss, de Meaner You Get)," a perky calypso featuring Rubin's double-tracked vocal with only bass and drums; and the penultimate track, David Williams' endearing "Won't Have to Say Goodbye," which begins and ends with an implied reggae feel but swings in the middle. Rubin also delivers a splendid "One for My Baby" and invites the great Etta Jones for a tête-à-tête on "But Not for Me" and "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You." ~ David R. Adler, Rovi

Biography

Born: March 14, 1957 in Cleveland, OH

Genre: Jazz

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

An appealing singer who does not improvise much, Vanessa Rubin recorded several fine albums for Novus. She studied classical music but switched to jazz early on. Rubin sang with and managed the Blackshaw Brothers (an organ quartet from Cleveland). After working with several groups locally (and recording with the Cleveland Jazz All-Stars), in 1982 Rubin moved to New York. She worked with Pharoah Sanders, Frank Foster's Loud Minority, and the big bands of Mercer Ellington and Lionel Hampton, and studied...
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Girl Talk, Vanessa Rubin
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