The tradition of vemale vocals alongside the tenor sax dates back to at least the days of Lady Day and Prez. Here is a modern day incarnation that works alarmingly well, with Vanessa Bley’s soft yet strongly alluring voice complemented by Sturart M atthewman’s tenor and clarinet. The rest of the team, Joe Bonadio/dr, Larry Grenadier/b, Vichael Leonhart/tp and occasionally Gil Goldstein-Anthony Marchesi/p-key delver original tunes with smoky late night moods as on “Pointless Satisfaction” and “Save It.” Mattewman’s horn arrangements create a richly and gently swinging atmosphere as on “Take It From My Eyes,” while more Spartan moods as on “You’re Everything” has simple clarinet, piano and bass to form a late night shadows. This team knows how to make modern music swing and sway with a warm depth. Lots to like here on this fresh release.
Sarah Partridge also does the composing here, yet sounds a bit more in the modern jazz tradition here. The team of Allen Farnham/p, Bill Moring/b, Tim Horner/dr, Paul Meyers/g, Scott Robinson/woodwinds, and Ben Williams/tb she is able to display sophistication on mature ballads such as “Eager Is THE Night” and “ Caverns of My Heart.” Her voice is quite flexible, and she shows she can hit the blue notes well on “Runaway Train” where she sings and scats alongside Williams’ trombone. Her Brazilian chops are a subtle strength on “Grace” and she works well with the rhythm team on the bouncy “Perspective.” Mature music.
Jessi Teich is caught in a Paris studio, also featuring original material. Her soft and wry voice sounds a bit indie-hipster at times, and the intermittent foul language can be a turn off. The team of Thierry Maillard/p, Yoan Schmidt/dr, Matyas Szandi/b, Laurent Derache/acc, Dai Miyazaki/g and Joh Morgan Kimock/p deliver supple support for the songs which range from 2-5 minutes, so the emphasis here is on the compositions and not instrumentation. Songs about deals with the devil and rejected relationships make you want to have a talk with this lady and give her some encouragement rather than listen to her tails of nihilism. This twisted soul could use some straightening out.