Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Plays Music from South Pacific

Magazine article IAJRC Journal

Plays Music from South Pacific

Article excerpt

Harry Allen-Joe Cohn Quartet

Plays music from South Pacific with Rebecca Kilgore & Eddie Erickson

Arbors ARCD 19380

Harry Allen (ts), Joe Cohn (g), Joel Forbes (sb), Chuck Riggs (d), Rebecca Kilgore, Eddie Erickson (v)

Cock-Eyed Optimist/Younger Than Springtime/Bloody Mary/Twin Soliloquies/I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair/There Is Nothing Like A Dame/Dites-Moi/Wonderful Guy/Happy Talk/ Honeybun/Some Enchanted Evening/You've Got To Be Carefully Taught/My Girl Back Home/This Nearly Was Mine/Bali Ha'I TT: 76:03

John McDonough's liner notes to this 2009 issue draw a detailed picture of previous Jazz attempts at Broadway tributes. He astutely points out that like its predecessor Guys and Dolls (from 2007), this Harry Allen-Joe Cohn work is not treated simply as a vehicle for improvisation but an actual attempt to follow the dramatic progress of the show through music (although the tunes are not programmed in show order). This presents numerous challenges including the need for good vocalists to cover the main parts and the necessity of including some tunes not easily adaptable for Jazz interpretations.

The former challenge is neatly solved by the inclusion of Kilgore and Erickson who take on the parts originally sung by Mary Martin and Ezio Pinza as well as the secondary leads. While Kilgore is certainly a known commodity among Jazz fans, Erickson is usually thought of as a superior banjo and guitar player who also sings and entertains. He here clearly smashes those stereotypes - I listened to the disc before reading the notes and was completely baffled as to the identity of the singer. On the show-stopping "There Is Nothing Like a Dame" I thought the singer might have been a younger version of Jon Hendricks, although one leaning much more towards a Broadway style. That tune and the superb version of "Some Enchanted Evening" suggest that someone ought to record Erickson as a featured vocalist someplace soon - his jazzy inflections neatly complement the more lyric qualities one expects to hear in some of these selections. …

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