Woman Alone with the Blues

A Woman Alone with the Blues

by Maria Muldaur
     
 
Singers Peggy Lee and Maria Muldaur have few vocal qualities in common, and yet it works as Muldaur pays homage to Lee on A Woman Alone with the Blues. The point of a tribute CD is not to emulate the honoree’s style but to bring the underlying spirit to life, and that’s the approach Muldaur takes. With a New Orleans horn section, Harry Connick Jr.’s rhythm

Overview

Singers Peggy Lee and Maria Muldaur have few vocal qualities in common, and yet it works as Muldaur pays homage to Lee on A Woman Alone with the Blues. The point of a tribute CD is not to emulate the honoree’s style but to bring the underlying spirit to life, and that’s the approach Muldaur takes. With a New Orleans horn section, Harry Connick Jr.’s rhythm section, and arrangements that recall Lee’s work with big bands, Muldaur covers classics like “I’m Gonna Go Fishin’,” which Lee co-wrote with Duke Ellington, and “I Don’t Know Enough About You.” For the innocent ballads “Moments like This” and “For Every Man There’s a Woman," the blues belter reins in her worldly side and goes for effective simplicity. She swings “Everything Is Moving Too Fast” and turns “Winter Weather,” with Dan Hicks dueting, into a New Orleans Dixieland number, while using a quiet, smoldering voice for classics like “Some Cats Know,” “Black Coffee,” and “Fever.” Throughout the project Muldaur remains herself yet reveals how deeply she cares about both classic pop singing and an important early influence in particular.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
The always eclectic Maria Muldaur, whose previous albums have paid tribute to Shirley Temple and blues women of the '20s, takes another musical detour in this collection of songs associated with Peggy Lee. In addition to her cool, sexy, relaxed voice, Lee was arguably more talented than other vocalists from her era. As a songwriter she co-penned some of her own material, including the swinging "I'm Gonna Go Fishin'" with Duke Ellington, which features the witty double entendres that spice several other songs. Muldaur possesses a similar ability to purr ("Some Cats Know") or sizzle (an opening tour de force of "Fever" and "Black Coffee") without breaking a sweat. So this collection of 12 tracks, backed by a talented yet restrained eight-piece band, is a natural extension of her vocal strengths. The stylish, retro arrangements include vibes and big-band-styled horn charts that sound as authentic as if they were recorded in the '30s. Even though there are some finger-popping swing numbers (a zippy duet with Dan Hicks on Ted Shapiro's "Winter Weather" is especially peppy), a late-night, languid blues-jazz vibe dominates. The title track, a sexy "Some Cats Know," "Moments Like These," and "I Don't Know Enough About You" exude a gauzy, smoky sheen perfect for Muldaur's sensual delivery. Sticking to less popular fare, producer Randy Labbe forgoes such Lee favorites as "Big Spender," "Is That All There Is?," and "I'm a Woman" (which Muldaur had already successfully covered on 1974's Waitress in a Donut Shop) to concentrate on more obscure, often loungy material. Classy, sophisticated, supple, and subtle, Maria Muldaur's tribute to Peggy Lee is a triumph for the singer and a heartfelt homage to her subject. Both artists' legacies should benefit from this impeccably conceived project.
jazzreview.com
Flawless recording. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/25/2003
Label:
Telarc
UPC:
0089408356827
catalogNumber:
83568
Rank:
195945

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Maria Muldaur   Primary Artist,Vocals
David Torkanowsky   Piano
Danny Caron   Guitar
Dan Hicks   Vocals
Jeff Lewis   Trumpet
Kevin Porter   Trombone,Bass Trombone
Jim Rothermel   Clarinet,Flute,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Arthur Latin   Drums
Neal Caine   Bass
Gerry Grosz   Vibes

Technical Credits

John Jacob   Engineer
Jim Rothermel   Horn Arrangements,Adaptation
Robert Woods   Executive Producer
Steve Drown   Engineer
Anilda Carrasquillo   Art Direction
Randy Labbe   Producer

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