Mary Ann Hurst: Jazzz...d (2005)
Vocalist Mary Ann Hurst performs a well-chosen group of songs, including two medleys, with an aggregate group of eight musicians on Jazzz...d. Hurst also has another new release, Wishing On A Star, with just a guitarist and percussionist, which provides an intruiging and very effective package. The instrumentation on Jazzz...d reflects more traditional jazz backing with trumpet, sax, vibes, and guitar.
Hurst has succeded in finding some fine obscurities, like the opening "In My Own Little Corner," from the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Cinderella, and "I Can't Say No," with a verse from Oklahoma. The Lieber & Stoller piece "Some Cats Know," originally written for The Coasters, is almost entirely done nowadays as a Peggy Lee tribute, and Hurst brings in all the cool sophistication that the song requires. The ballad "Some Other Time," from the Comden-Green-Bernstein musical On the Town, is always a pleasure to hear in the right hands.
There are plenty of opportunities for the individual musicians to shine, for example Higa's atmospheric flugelhorn accompaniment on "In My Own Little Corner." The group begins "On A Slow Boat To China" with a faux Asian motif and then wisely jettisons it for a medium bounce that features nice vibes work by Noel Okimoto. There are two medleys here that seem unnecessary. "Hit the Road Jack" incorporates a bit of "Why Don't You You Do Right?" and, more importantly, the Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn classic "Time After Time" is mixed with the Mack Gordon piece "You Make Me Feel So Young." They're both great songs, so why not present them separately?
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Track Listing: In My Own Little Corner; I Can't Say No; Lush Life; Some Cats Know; On A Slow Boat To China; You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To; My Head's OK; But My Heart's Not Smart; Some Other Time; Call Me; Medley:Hit The Road Jack/Why You Do Right?; Medley: Time After Time/You Make Me Feel So Young.
Personnel: Mary Ann Hurst: vocals; Kit Ebersbach: keyboards; DeShannon Higa: flugelhorn, trumpet; Stephen Jones: bass; Bryan Kessler: guitar; Noel Okimoto: drums, percussion, vibraphone; Daryl Pelligrini: drums; Jeff Peterson: guitar; Tim Tsukiyama: saxophone.
Record Label: Love Bug