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Album Review

Jackie Ryan is one of the premier jazz singers in North America who the general public is unaware of. Perhaps the release of Doozy will boost her image into that of a very fine interpreter of standards and Brazilian tunes. Her flexible and perfectly pitched voice allows her to sing a wide variety of songs, and she handles them all well. Ryan recruited a fine accompanist in pianist Cyrus Chestnut for this two-CD set, alongside east coast all-stars like drummer Carl Allen and bassist Ray Drummond, lesser-known west coasters bassist Neal Smith and bassist Dezron Douglas, and sidemen like trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, and on the Brazilian tunes, guitarist Romero Lubambo. The program is very uneven in terms of upbeat numbers followed by downtempo ballads, and thus the listener experiences the jarring, immediate ups and downs. There's nothing at all wrong with the material, but it could have been lined up better. Ryan's voice goes through phases based on her many influences. She's quite fond of the Art Blakey/Jazz Messengers bluesy shuffle sound as heard on the lighter "Opportunity Please Knock" and the cuter take of "Dat Dere" where Pelt and Alexander play together quite nicely. Her homage to Betty Carter on "Do Something" starts slow, then goes crazy, while "Doozy" emphasizes a deeper toned vocalese with a fantastic solo scat à la Annie Ross. Ryan is clearly influenced by Sarah Vaughan during "Beautiful Moons Ago" where she adopts a huskier tone in a calypso stew, and cops Ernestine Anderson's persona from "Never Make Your Move Too soon" on "My How The Time goes On." The Brazilian numbers are sung in an impressively elucidated Portuguese, Benny Carter's "Summer Serenade" is tinged in bossa nova melancholy, and the ballad "Solamente Una Vez" with Lubambo is utterly gorgeous and sensual. There's a New Orleans shuffle buoying the come on flattery song "Tell Me More and More, and Then Some," while her louder, more operatic Vaughan-like vocal is pronounced on the lengthy, emotional "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most." The musicianship from all involved is beyond reproach, and Ryan sounds comfortable on all fronts being accompanied by these players, to the point where it lifts her artistry to a higher level. Chestnut is his usual tasteful and sensitive self — check him out on the intro of "Spring" for further evidence of his virtuosic powers. While this CD is very long for any one sitting, pick out favorite tracks and see if they don't become popular replays on your iPod or such similar device. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Customer Reviews

INCREDIBLE DISCOVERY! Among the best vocalists I have ever heard

This is the best CD I've heard in years - decades to tell the truth. Jackie Ryan's “DOOZY” is, as legendary jazz critic Don Heckman put it in his generous Liner Notes, “a stunningly diverse 2 CD collection of irresistibly compelling performances.” Designed as 2 complete sets you might enjoy live in a club, it gave me all the dynamic variety of songs I'd ever hope for in a concert - including an opening and closing song for each set! This was recorded mostly at Tony Bennett's studio (right after I had the priviledge of seeing this gorgeous woman live at Lincoln Center Dizzy’s), and it features some of the East Coast’s hottest names in jazz - cats like Cyrus Chestnut, Jeremy Pelt, Eric Alexander that in themselves blow me away. This is more than a follow up to Jackie’s prior releases like “This Heart of Mine” (which featured Toots Thielemans, Amina Figarova, and Jon Mayer, to name a few), or my favorite “You and The Night and The Music” (with saxophonist Red Holloway and Jeff Hamilton's trio) . This one is a revelation - a tour de force, as the liner notes say, through the seemingly limitless breadth and bounty of this artist’s myriad musical gifts - from rarely heard jazz gems, to lush soulful ballads - from sensuous Brazilian bossa novas and boleros, to a passionate Spanish love song that will knock you out- from sassy, brassy New Orleans style blues, to sizzling hard-driving be-bop punctuated by her own smartly-crafted vocalese lyrics. It is, as Don Heckman states, “JACKIE RYAN AT HER BEST!”

"Doozy" by Jackie Ryan

Jackie Ryan has earned her place at the top of the list of jazz singers. She has an amazing, pure vocal range, sings in several languages, and can take you from a quiet place within your soul, with her smoldering, sultry songs to full throttle on-your-feet dancing when she turns up the heat and really belts one out! She mixes it up on this wonderful double CD with lots of variety, spice, sass, and tinkles of humor. I have followed her music for years now, eagerly awaiting each new album - "Doozy" is destined to be my favorite - so far!


Jackie Ryan is classic cool! Jazz lovers look no further. This is the real thing.

A velvet voice surrounded wonderful musicians. Jackie's love of jazz and song are evident on every cut. Her pharsing, diction and versatility are a rare gift. This CD only sounds better with repeated listening. I truly believe a recording like this is timeless.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Vocalist Jackie Ryan arrived on the ever-changing jazz scene at the dawning of the new millennium, deriving a classic, yet exotic style and sound. Of Mexican, Irish, French, and Spanish decent, Ryan throws her background it into her music. She sings in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, and echoes of Sarah Vaughan, Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday can be heard....
Full Bio
Doozy, Jackie Ryan
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Latino
  • Released: Aug 04, 2009

Customer Ratings