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“The Best Cure For The Blues”: A Review of Julie from Russia

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UR9957.JLQnt_back_c1At the time of this writing, from the author‘s window, the view is of wet snow mixed with rain. In such nasty weather the debut album of the Julie Lyon Quintet is the best cure for the blues. Anyway, I would warm it up with mugs of anything hot or glasses with anything firewater. Julie will give you almost an hour of warm, sincere and very cozy jazz. This American vocalist and her partners do not seek to create some bold experiments, avant-garde delights or to display the power of the voice. The voice of Julie Lyon is not about free rein sound but rather depth of experience and the aura of the truth of jazz will not leave you from the first track to the last.

The program of the Julie album is songs from different times and different atmospheres. There are classic jazz standards, such as Bye Bye Blackbird or two evergreens, Cole Porter‘s Love For Sale and Every Time We Say Goodbye, a charming example of Brazilian jazz Dindi by Jobim, and next Strollin by Horace Silver, Too Damn Hot by Dr. Lonnie Smith with lyrics by Julie Lyon and the finale, Tom Wait’s Temptation. For each song, starting only from the text (without using, for example, scat) , Julie Lyon is able to create her own, special atmosphere. Personally, I feel especially close to the fun, even playful mood prevailing in Dindi, the pulsating swing of Too Damn Hot and the brilliant interpretation of Temptation.

All the tracks are arranged so that you can really listen to the quintet and not just a singer with an accompanying ensemble. Virtually every one of instrumentalists has ample opportunity to demonstrate their skills. I emphasize here Matt Lavelle’s solo trumpet in Bye Bye Blackbird and Temptation, his alto clarinet in Dindi, the artful guitar of Jack DeSalvo in Comes Love and his duet with bassist Bobby Brennan in Born To Be Blue, as well as Tom Cabrera’s opening drum solo in All Or Nothing At All.

According to the press release, the album Julie will go on sale in January 2015, although the cover indicates it was recorded in Paramus, New Jersey in 2013. I do not know what caused such a substantial gap between the two dates, but this is the case when you want to say, better late than never.

– Leonid

CD available HERE.



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