Easy Living

Easy Living

by Ann Hampton CallawayAnn Hampton Callaway


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This is Ann Hampton Callaway's seventh recording, Easy Living, is one of her very best. It's a program of well-known standards and fairly stock arrangements, but in the middle is her pristine, well-defined, flexible voice. She retains a lower-end range in her style that suggests only one singer: Sarah Vaughan. She's joined by several different rhythm sections and soloists, including pianists Benny Green (six cuts), Bill Charlap (five), and Kenny Barron (two); bassists Peter Washington or Neal Miner; drummers Clarence "Tootsie" Bean and Lewis Nash; percussionist Jim Saporito; saxophonists Andy Farber, Nelson Rangell, and Gerry Niewood; and on three selections, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. A collection of love songs sung convincingly and with no frills, Callaway shows great depth in ballad singing. Hard evidence is presented in her takes of "Skylark" and "The Very Thought of You," with Charlap's glistening piano tones ringing bells for the singer and Farber's tenor sax replies. "'Round Midnight" is the penultimate interp with Barron's wistful piano and Marsalis' spare trumpet offering advice on ol' midnight. Callaway can swing well when she chooses; "Easy to Love" brings home her lower dulcet tones, while Farber's tenor cops a Stan Getz-Joe Henderson type plea bargain. Green's intro to "Nice Work If You Can Get It" has a "Giant Steps" quote before the singer digs into this lyric. She scats a little during the middle of the program, on the melody line, and the coda, of "Bluesette," and more in the improvised bridge during "It Had to Be You." Bossa nova is always a sidebar for singers, and Callaway uses this Brazilian rhythm on an interesting arrangement of "You Don't Know What Love Is" spiked with high drama, Saporito's Latin percussion, Barron's deft piano, and Niewood's flavorful tenor. The lone composition of the vocalist "Come Take My Hand" is also bossa, with Rangell's flute chirping on this definitive love anthem. Marsalis is also bolder on the stark ballad title track and a nice version of "In a Sentimental Mood," while it's the singer getting brash and daring in a lower tone than normal for perhaps the highlight "All of You," Green's piano matching the depths of Callaway's yearnings. It's not hyperbole to understand this is the perfect singer with a perfect voice that sounds so effortless, mature, and flowing. Though the others six recordings are just fine, this one really hits the spot, especially instrumentally. Callaway proves up to the challenge with every measure, phrase, and inflection.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/22/2005
Label: Shanachie
UPC: 0016351512628
catalogNumber: 5126
Rank: 65471


  1. Easy to Love
  2. 'Round Midnight
  3. Come and Take My Hand
  4. Easy Living
  5. All of You
  6. Bluesette
  7. It Had to Be You
  8. In a Sentimental Mood
  9. You Don't Know What Love Is
  10. Come Rain or Come Shine
  11. Skylark
  12. Nice Work if You Can Get It
  13. The Very Thought of You

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Ann Hampton Callaway   Primary Artist,Vocals
Nelson Rangell   Flute,Alto Saxophone
Lewis Nash   Drums
Kenny Barron   Piano
Clarence Bean   Drums
Bill Charlap   Piano
Benny Green   Piano
Wynton Marsalis   Trumpet,Guest Appearance
Gerry Niewood   Tenor Saxophone,Soloist,Guest Appearance
Jim Saporito   Percussion
Peter Washington   Bass,Double Bass
Andy Farber   Tenor Saxophone,Guest Appearance
Neal Miner   Bass,Double Bass
Clarence "Tootsie" Bean   Drums

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Ray Noble   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Warren Schatz   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Toots Thielemans   Composer
David Hajdu   Liner Notes
Lisa Schiff   Executive Producer

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