Feb 11, 2012
One of my
favorite jazz singers is Catherine Russell, a bluesy vocalist who
has an amazing ear for picking lesser known or obscure tunes to
include on her albums. She is something of jazz royalty, as her
father was the great Luis Russell, a composer and bandleader of
note who collaborated with King Oliver and Louis Armstrong, among
other stars of the day. Her mother is Carline Ray,
was a member of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, a
talented vocalist, bassist, and
a graduate of Julliard, who has been featured with Mary Lou
Williams and Doc Cheatam. Four CDs into her
solo career, she continues to show she is her own woman, developing
a vocal style all her own on her latest CD, Strictly
Today’s Music for Lovers is the sensuous slow dance of “Romance In The Dark”, written by the great Lil Green (who coincidentally toured as featured vocalist with the Luis Russell Orchestra in the mid-1940’s), dazzles the senses. I asked Cat how she came to choose these songs, and she simply stated: “A good love song never gets old. If I can relate to the lyric and melody of a song, I can live through it when I sing it”.
Band members include guitarist Matt Munisteri, trumpet great Jon-Erik Kellso, trombonist John Allred, and her usual rhythm section, Mark Shane on piano, Lee Hudson on bass, and Mark McClean on drums.