Moon Ray

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Nathan
With the passing of Betty Carter, it is arguable that the mantle as preeminent bop and post-bop vocalist should be draped across the shoulders of Portland, Oregon denizen Nancy King. For more than 48 minutes on Moon Ray, King and her very capable quartet regale the listener with vocal/instrumental art of the highest caliber. From the first track to the last, the listener is treated to as imaginative a musical presentation as one can rightfully expect. Clearly encouraged by the informal, relaxed atmosphere of a jazz club where requests are fulfilled and are included on the CD, the improvisation and just plain letting loose is apparent each time King steps to the mike. There ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Nathan
With the passing of Betty Carter, it is arguable that the mantle as preeminent bop and post-bop vocalist should be draped across the shoulders of Portland, Oregon denizen Nancy King. For more than 48 minutes on Moon Ray, King and her very capable quartet regale the listener with vocal/instrumental art of the highest caliber. From the first track to the last, the listener is treated to as imaginative a musical presentation as one can rightfully expect. Clearly encouraged by the informal, relaxed atmosphere of a jazz club where requests are fulfilled and are included on the CD, the improvisation and just plain letting loose is apparent each time King steps to the mike. There are hoots of surprise when something unexpected happens or out of sheer satisfaction with a good performance. There's King's yelp at the end of "Yesterdays," and the shouts of encouragement from one of the musicians during her scatting on "Quiet Nights." Her wordless vocalizing throughout the session gives special meaning to the "voice as an instrument" doctrine reaching its height on "How High the Moon." But King can treat a song with kindness and softness as on "Everything Happens to Me" where she weaves in, out, and around John Stowell's guitar strumming. The presence of the two bop staples, Charlie Parker's "Scrapple from the Apple" and Sonny Rollins' "St. Thomas" reveal King is not averse to taking risks. The challenge of performing these tunes is to produce improvisation of equivalent quality to that of their composers. She passes with the highest scores possible, her performance an absolute tour de force, as is the classic Wardell Gray/Annie Ross "Twisted." Mention has to be made of King's band "4," with all-Italian jazz musicians but one. Because there is no piano, except for the last track, considerable pressure is on the rhythm section to provide the requisite support for the singer. They do this as if they had been working together for years. Attilio Zanchi's bass at first listen is like a guitar meandering in the lower registers. Stowell's guitar assumes the role of the piano as he takes extended, intelligent solos on several cuts. The drums of Gianni Cazzola provide punctuation when needed, but are never intrusive. This album is recommended without reservation.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/18/2013
  • Label: Philology Import
  • EAN: 8013284001511
  • Catalog Number: 8400151
  • Sales rank: 110,273

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Nancy King Primary Artist, Vocals
John Stowell Guitar
Attilo Zanchi Bass
Gianni Cazzola Piano, Cymbals, Tambur
Technical Credits
Nancy Hamilton Composer
Paolo Piangiarelli Producer, Liner Notes
Morgan Lewis Composer
Alberto Bigelli Graphic Design
Marco Lacchini Mastering
Milton De Oliveira Composer
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