Title - Necessary Arrangements
Artist - Jackie Messina
For those not in the know, Necessary Arrangements (releasing on CD May 1st, 2022), Jackie Messinaís tribute to her musical collaboration with the late jazz pianist and educator Enos Payne, brings elegance and wit to an unusual selection of songs.
This eclectic homage to the conductor of the Jazz Vocal Workshop at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music features unique arrangements (hence the title) from their five year musical relationship.
Bruce Barth on piano heads a lineup of stellar musicians, including Will Galison on harmonica, Paul Beaudry and Ed Howard on bass, and Cliff Barbaro, a former drummer for Betty Carter.
Exquisite solos throughout by Barth and Galison further elevate the freshness and originality of these interpretations, which will draw lovers of jazz back for repeated listening, of that you have my word.
This debut album, first released in 2011 and now re-released for broader promotion and media distribution, was praised by Michael Baily of All About Jazz as sleek ad sophisticated and singer Amy London wrote Her re-imaginings of the melodies we know and love are magical as well as logical.
2. I Feel Pretty
3. Easy Street
4. Wild Is the Wind
5. Quiet Now
6. Little Bís Poem
7. Surrey With a Fringe On Top
8. I Believe in You
9. Iím a Fool to Want You
10. Baltimore Oriole
12. Slow, Hot Wind
13. Show Me
This wondrously passionate and wholly invigorating new album opens on the atmospheric, harmonica-driven hipsway of Inchworm and the lushly orchestrated I Feel Pretty and backs those up seamlessly with the low slung Esay Street, the vibrant Wild Is the Wind, the aptly-titled piano balladry of Quiet Now, and then we get the achingly beautiful Little Bís Poem and the fluttering summerís drive of Surrey With a Fringe On Top.
Next up is one of my own personal favorites off this new album, the flourishingly upbeat and perky finger-snapper I Believe in You and the late night, smokey jazz club, dulcet appeal of Iím a Fool to Want You, which are in turn followed by the upright bass-led Baltimore Oriole, the splendidly sultry Alfie, the album rounding out on the gentle foot-tapper Slow, Hot Wind, coming to close on the playful ebb and flow of Show Me.
In closing, Messinaís skills as an interpreter of lyrics grew out of her earlier career as a recognized poet and thus with this recording she has clearly made the seamless transition now to poetic jazz vocalist.