Teri Thornton: The Voice of Teri Thornton

Teri Thornton has had two careers as a vocalist. The Detroit native  started out in the early 60s with a couple of very hip albums and then dropped out of the scene. She re-emerged in 1998 and actually won the Thelonious Monk Vocal Jazz Competition over Jane Monheit, Roberta Gambarini and Tierney Sutton!) before recording her last album and succumbing to cancer in 2000. This cd includes her two stellar albums, the 1961 Devil May Care and 1963 Somewhere In The Night.

Devil May Care has all stars Britt Woodman/tb, Clark Terry/tp, Earl Warren/as, Seldon Powell/ts, Wynton Kelly/p, Freddie Green/g, Sam Jones/b and Jimmy Cobb/dr along with an orchestra arranged by Norman Simmons. Her husky voice blows smoke rings on”Lullaby of the Leaves” and has a rich vibrato that she doesn’t overuse with a  hint of Nina Simone on “My Old Flame” and “Detour Ahead.” The horns are hip on “What’s Your Story, Morning Glory?” and Terry is cool as a cucumber on “Devil May Care.”

For Somewhere in the Night, an orchestra conducted by Larry Wilcox includes Charlie Mariano/ts-bs, Nick Brignola/fs-bs, Joe Farrell-reeds and Dave Frishberg/p on the 1963 session. She sounds like she’s singing under the corner lamp stand on the noirish “Somewhere in the Night,”
Is sassy on ”I’ve Got Your Number” and is enticing for “Quizas, Auizas, Auizas.” She sounds assured, but never overplays her hand on “I’ve Got The World on a string” and she melds with the reeds on a richly textured “Mood Indigo.” My only concern about albums and artist like this is that some day Fresh Sound is going to run out of discoveries. Until then, enjoy the gold vein!

Fresh Sound Records


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