Stuart Rosh & The Geniuses: When a Woman and a Man (Become Friends)
When a Woman and a Man (Become Friends)
Stuart Rosh & The Geniuses
Fundamental (Winged Flight Records WF 1005CD)
Stuart Rosh (vocals),
Steve Herman (trumpet, flugelhorn), Jim Hoke (sax, clarinet, pedal steel guitar), Ronnie Godfrey (keys), Rick Gordon (guitar), John Vogt (bass), Kathy Burkly (percussion).
Composed by Stuart Rosh.
Recorded: Nashville, TN and Redwood City, CA, August 2007 (to be released January 12, 2009)
Rating: 89/100 (learn more)
All music must be compared to something in order to establish a point of reference. I had never heard Stuart Rosh sing. I assume many of you have not as well. So I give you my first impressions, based on Fundamental's opening track, "When a Woman and a Man (Become Friends)." Stuart Rosh sings like Leon Redbone with a Frank Zappa accent. The music is a retro jazz & cabaret full of shuffles and the blues. It leans strongly in favor of Redbone's chosen material, though it is much more aggressive. The music is engaging in itself, but is really meant as a backdrop for Rosh's storytelling. It took about 10 seconds to realize that Rosh is a talented lyricist. Each fun tale is told in a succinct and entertaining flow. This is all about showmanship – a concept many times forgotten these days. Cab Calloway would be performing this stuff if he were around. I don't see how it is possible to not like this CD.
At jazz.com we review individual cuts. Many times I am completing my review of the chosen cut while the CD plays on. In this case, following the first song I also heard elements of Willie Nelson and even Allan Sherman in Rosh's vocal style and material. This is just further evidence that a snapshot never tells the full story.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky