Jacqui Naylor: Summertime
Jacqui Naylor (vocals)
You Don't Know Jacq (Ruby Star Records RSR-006)
Jacqui Naylor (vocals),
Art Khu (organ, guitar), Jon Evans (bass), Josh Jones (drums).
Composed by Composed by George Gershwin & DuBose Heyward.
Recorded: San Francisco, CA, 2008
Rating: 80/100 (learn more)
I'm going to begin with a caveat: I love jazz and I love blues. I love R&B. I even love good, honest rock 'n' roll. But when I'm sent a jazz album, I want to hear good, honest jazz, played and sung by artists who are willing to fly without a net.
Jacqui Naylor is a talented, beautiful and obviously marketable singer. She can approximate a reasonable facsimile of blues affectation and has a cadre of solid, competent studio musicians on this effort. She has received a goodly amount of media buzz thanks to a combination of the aforementioned factors. But, in this cloying rehash of classic rock 'n' roll, blues and disco, I find little evidence of deep understanding or sensitivity towards the art of jazz.
Case in point: her hybrid arrangement of "Summertime," crammed into a rather lackluster shell of the Allmans' breakthrough 11/8 rocker, "Whipping Post." Cute idea, nice execution. Still, I would rather hear Duane Allman's tortured riffs and brother Greg's heartfelt growling instead of this lukewarm, contrived effort. And Gershwin deserves much better.
Reviewer: Bill Barnes