Victoria Rummler: James
Victoria Rummler (vocals)
Twinkle (Pitch Puppy Productions)
Recorded: Paris, France 2003
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
An angelic voice, attached to a solid headpiece with a genuine command of the jazz vernacular — this is the elusive Victoria Rummler, who has been enjoying the bon vie as an American in Paris for well over a decade. The former Detroit native has enjoyed the enthusiastic support of musicians and the admiration of Parisian Caveau dwellers for obvious reasons. Beautiful, fearless, witty and original — what’s not to like?
I love artists who take chances and Ms. Rummler takes more than her share in this album, running the gamut of jazz and world music from the Japanese-Brazilian pentatonic confection "Watashi" to standards from the Great American Songbook. She is also a gifted songwriter, penning the droll "Cocktail Optimism" and haunting ballad "Words."
From such an embarrassment of riches it was difficult to choose one track to cover, but the Pat Metheny favorite, "James" deserves particular attention. The confident guitar work of Gianni Guido and Rummler’s buoyant, rhythmic phrasing set up the intro with flawless timing; her diaphanous vocal improvisations soar through the changes with unaffected ease. No other instruments are needed to sustain the cheerful energy of this airy composition.
Recently the French government awarded Victoria Rummler naturalized citizenship, so Detroit might never get her back. But this may be for the best as she could be the most effective ambassador for Franco-American relations since Ben Franklin.
Reviewer: Bill Barnes