La Tanya Hall: Bluesette
La Tanya Hall (vocals)
It's About Time (Bridge 9284)
23-piece orchestra conducted by Angelo DiPippo.
Composed by Toots Thielemans; arranged by Angelo DiPippo.
Recorded: Glen Cove, NY, 2006
Rating: 99/100 (learn more)
According to the liner notes, La Tanya's Hall's performances were recorded back in 2006. But for some reason, the CD was not released until December 2008. Do you mean I could have heard this first-class talent sing earlier? I consider my life the lesser for having been deprived for all those months!
Before I discuss Hall's voice, I must say that everyone associated with this album should be lauded. Arranger and conductor Angelo DiPippo has created some of the best modern big band arrangements I have heard in ages. Leading the assembled musicians through his scores may have been hard work, but considering the high-quality musicianship on display (including Hall's), it must have been simultaneously a pleasure. Sometimes you just know you are involved with something special, and work is a joy. (If that was not actually the case, I don't want to know!) Audio engineer Fred Guarino must also be commended for a beautifully crafted CD. I can't say enough about how fantastic this recording sounds. Every dynamic is dead-on PERFECT.
It would have been a crime against music to not surround La Tanya Hall's voice with the best in every capacity. The woman is ripe with talent. Her slightly husky smooth voice is a wondrous instrument, put to good use on the classic "Bluesette." Her phrasing and intonation are impeccable. Her interpretative skills are a marvel. Has Toots Thielemans heard this version yet? If not, someone must FedEx it to his attention pronto. This song cannot be performed any better.
Part of my late discovery of Hall has to do with the fact that, after years in the business, It's About Time is her first solo record. What took so long? This reviewer is blown away. I hope Hall's next recording will be released in a more timely fashion so I don't have to suffer through the waiting.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky