All Music Guide
This is Ann Hampton Callaway's seventh recording, Easy Living, is one of her very best. It's a program of well-known standards and fairly stock arrangements, but in the middle is her pristine, well-defined, flexible voice. She retains a lower-end range in her style that suggests only one singer: Sarah Vaughan. She's joined by several different rhythm sections and soloists, including pianists Benny Green (six cuts), Bill Charlap (five), and Kenny Barron (two); bassists Peter Washington or Neal Miner; drummers Clarence "Tootsie" Bean and Lewis Nash; percussionist Jim Saporito; saxophonists Andy Farber, Nelson Rangell, and Gerry Niewood; and on three selections, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. A collection of love songs sung convincingly and with no frills, Callaway shows great depth in ballad singing. Hard evidence is presented in her takes of "Skylark" and "The Very Thought of You," with Charlap's glistening piano tones ringing bells for the singer and Farber's tenor sax replies. "'Round Midnight" is the penultimate interp with Barron's wistful piano and Marsalis' spare trumpet offering advice on ol' midnight. Callaway can swing well when she chooses; "Easy to Love" brings home her lower dulcet tones, while Farber's tenor cops a Stan Getz-Joe Henderson type plea bargain. Green's intro to "Nice Work If You Can Get It" has a "Giant Steps" quote before the singer digs into this lyric. She scats a little during the middle of the program, on the melody line, and the coda, of "Bluesette," and more in the improvised bridge during "It Had to Be You." Bossa nova is always a sidebar for singers, and Callaway uses this Brazilian rhythm on an interesting arrangement of "You Don't Know What Love Is" spiked with high drama, Saporito's Latin percussion, Barron's deft piano, and Niewood's flavorful tenor. The lone composition of the vocalist "Come Take My Hand" is also bossa, with Rangell's flute chirping on this definitive love anthem. Marsalis is also bolder on the stark ballad title track and a nice version of "In a Sentimental Mood," while it's the singer getting brash and daring in a lower tone than normal for perhaps the highlight "All of You," Green's piano matching the depths of Callaway's yearnings. It's not hyperbole to understand this is the perfect singer with a perfect voice that sounds so effortless, mature, and flowing. Though the others six recordings are just fine, this one really hits the spot, especially instrumentally. Callaway proves up to the challenge with every measure, phrase, and inflection. Michael G. Nastos
Bill Charlap, /em>
Lewis Nash, Drums
Clarence "Tootsie" Bean, Drums
Peter Washington, Bass
Neal Miner, Bass
Jim Saporito, Percussion
Special Guest Appearances:
Wynton Marsalis, Trumpet
Nelson Rangel, Alto Sax & Flute
Andy Farber, Tenor Sax
Gerry Niewood, Tenor Sax
Produced by Warren Schatz
SOLO and DUET CD'S|
"At Last", Telarc
"Blues In the Night", Telarc
"Who Can See The Blue The Same Again?", Dismakers Single CD
"Slow", Shanachie Records
"After Ours", Denon Records
"Ann Hampton Callaway", DRG Records
"Bring Back Romance", DRG Records
"Easy Living", Shanachie Records
"Sibling Revelry" with Liz Callaway, DRG Records
"Signature", Shanachie Records
"This Christmas", After 9 Records/Angel Records
"To Ella With Love", Shanachie Records
GUEST APPEARANCE CD'S|
"Last Holiday", Music from the motion picture, Sall Entertainment Group
"In Good Company", LML Music
"Ladies Sing For Lovers", MCG Jazz
"Fine and Dandy", PS Classics
"2 Hands 10 Voices", Broadway Cares, Equity Fights AIDS
"Toy", Big Black Booty Records
"Good Morning Heartache", Shout Factory
"A Cabaret Christmas", DRG Records
"Anywhere I Wander- Liz Callaway Sings Frank Leosser", Varese Saraband
"Broadway's Greatest Gifts 1999- Carols For A Cure" Rock-It Science Records
"Cincinnati Men's Chorus", Sound Foundry Productions
"Far From the Madding Crowd/The Awakening", Original Cast Records
"Grateful- The Songs of John Bucchino", RCA Victor
"Great Cabaret Performances", DRG Records
"Holiday Pops- Peter Nero & the Philly Pops", Encore Series
"Home For the Holidays", Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids
"Jay Leonhart With His Friends", DRG Records
"Let Us Be United", SYDA Foundation
"Love Come Down, A Musical by Douglas Day", Day Records
"Sing Out!", Digital On Location
"Songbirds Special", Blue Flame Jazz
"Songbirds", Blue Flame Jazz
"Swing!- Original Cast Album", Sony Music
"Television's Greatest Hits, Volume 7", TVT Records
"The Best of In Celebration of Life 1-5", Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids
"The Seattle Men's Chorus", Emerald City Arts
"The Story Goes On- Liz Callaway On & Off Broadway", Varese Saraband
"Too Dead To Swing", Books On Tape
GUEST APPEARANCES ON BEN BAGLEY CD'S PAINTED SMILES RECORDS|
"Alan Jay Lerner Revisited"
"Cole Porter Revisited Vol. IV"
"Cole Porter Revisited Vol. V"
"Cole Porter Revisited"
"DeSylva, Brown & Henderson Revisited Vol. II"
"DeSylva, Brown & Henderson Revisited"
"Hold On To Your Hats"
"Tallulah- Original Cast Album"
"Irving Berlin Revisited"
"Jerome Kern Revisited Vol. III"
"Noel Coward Revisited"
"Rodgers and Hart Revisited Vol. II"
"Rodgers and Hart Revisited Vol. V"
"Rodgers and Hart Revisited"
"Vernon Duke Revisited Vol. III"
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