Oh, What A Thrill

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
The 1990s were full of unimaginative Sarah Vaughan clones and faceless Ella Fitzgerald imitators who failed to bring anything fresh or personal to jazz singing -- like a lot of "Young Lion" instrumentalists, they were stuck in the past and refused to leave their comfort zones even for a minute. But the 1990s also brought us some impressive risk-takers, including Cassandra Wilson, Karrin Allison, Claire Martin, Ann Dyer, and Patricia Barber. Another adventurous jazz singer who started recording in the 1990s was Barbara Sfraga. An unpredictable artist who can be bluesy one minute and abstract the next, Sfraga takes more than her share of chances on her promising debut ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Alex Henderson
The 1990s were full of unimaginative Sarah Vaughan clones and faceless Ella Fitzgerald imitators who failed to bring anything fresh or personal to jazz singing -- like a lot of "Young Lion" instrumentalists, they were stuck in the past and refused to leave their comfort zones even for a minute. But the 1990s also brought us some impressive risk-takers, including Cassandra Wilson, Karrin Allison, Claire Martin, Ann Dyer, and Patricia Barber. Another adventurous jazz singer who started recording in the 1990s was Barbara Sfraga. An unpredictable artist who can be bluesy one minute and abstract the next, Sfraga takes more than her share of chances on her promising debut album Oh, What A Thrill. This post-bop/avant-garde CD gets off to an impressive start with an unlikely interpretation of Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire," which Sfraga successfully changes from uptempo rockabilly to slow, atmospheric jazz-noir. And the New York-based singer also shows how daring she can be on the standard "Angel Eyes" which incorporates Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" as well as "Good Morning, Heartache" and Lee Morgan's "Free Wheelin'" for which she provides lyrics. Though Betty Carter's influence serves her well, Sfraga is more accessible -- in fact, those who have a hard time getting into Carter could easily be drawn in by Sfraga's dusky and alluring performances on "Invitation" and "I Didn't Know What Time It Was." Sfraga's primary accompaniment on this disc consists of guitarist Bruce Saunders, pianist David Berkman, bassist John Hebert, and drummer Eric Halvorson -- and she has noteworthy guests in pianist Fred Hersch, who is featured on three tracks, and vocalist Mark Murphy, who wrote the liner notes and performs a memorable duet with her on "I'll Call You." Oh, What a Thrill is highly recommended to those who are seeking something fresh and personal from jazz singing.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/30/1999
  • Label: Naxos
  • UPC: 747313604722
  • Catalog Number: 86047

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Intro (Great Balls of Fire) (0:27)
  2. 2 Great Balls of Fire (5:29)
  3. 3 Miss Harper Goes Bizarre (5:21)
  4. 4 Livin' the Life of Freedom (5:13)
  5. 5 Who's to Blame (3:09)
  6. 6 Slug It Up (3:57)
  7. 7 Good Morning Heartache (5:48)
  8. 8 I Didn't Know What Time It Was (6:23)
  9. 9 Angel Eyes/Sunshine of Your Love (5:16)
  10. 10 Invitation (4:09)
  11. 11 I'll Call You (3:05)
  12. 12 Song for My Mother (4:39)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Barbara Sfraga Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Ervin Drake Composer
Earl Brent Composer
Dan Fisher Composer
Irene Higginbotham Composer
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