MP3 Rory - Chic To Cheek
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10 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Vocals, JAZZ: Cool Jazz
Show all album songs: Chic To Cheek Songs
"Music is organic". Anything, even the sound of a train rattling on the tracks brings forth rhythmic verses in my mind." - Rory
â¨The richness and diversity of âChic to Cheekâ is reflective of Roryâs own multifarious musical journey. She began studying âclassical pianoâ at the age of five and developed her technique performing many of the most notable works in the classical repertory. She went on to study viola and performed with a local orchestra in Rhode Island, her home base. Her interests took another turn as a multi-keyboardist/vocalist with a very popular Newport, RI Top 40 band.
After many successful years with the band, she began developing a love of Jazz, which continues to be the true and abiding musical love of her life. She formed several different trios and quartets, which ran the gamut of R&B, Folk and Standards, performing in Boston, New York, Florida as well as Rhode Island. Recent years, she has spent time as pianist in the rare Big Band scene. Her far ranging musical interests led to a brief stint doing vocals and guitar in a local Blue Grass Band. As her history suggests, crossing genres and transcending styles comes naturally to her. For as she says, âits all musicâ, and this conviction continues to influence her art in both live as well as studio work. â¨
Fortunately, Rory found a musical soul-mate in her husband, Ric Ranucci, who is himself a musical genious in a great many ways. They lend their fresh musical stylings to Rock, Standards and even Classical pieces and always with verve. When the versatile duo performs live, audiences are often heard to comment, âthey do everythingâ and â it is mesmerizing to watch themâ. Ricâs contribution to this new CD âChic To Cheekâ is that of producer, but his talents were enlisted for the background vocals of Nat King Coleâs, âHit That Jive, Jackâ on the third track. This was the Coleâs trio most famous group vocal, and Ricâs background vocal tracks added the feel of Coleâs cool sidemen.
â¨The arrangements on âChic To Cheekâ, similar to a live set, are so varied and eclectic that finding a suitable title must have been a challenge. One of Roryâs talents is a knack for coming up with just the right phrase. "Chic To Cheek" cleverly captures the varied content of the CDâs diverse styles from the âChicâ of Sophisticated Ladyâ and âHow Insensitiveâ to the âCheekâ of âSome Cats Knowâ and âLove You Madly.â
The first trackâs intro begins with a mellow motif from Gioacchino Rossiniâs âWilliam Tell Overtureâ and then kicks-off unexpectedly into the Lieber and Stollerâs tune âSome Cats Knowâ. Musical quotes from Rossiniâs familiar mad-dash theme, used in the vintage TV program "The Lone Ranger," are married to the cheeky tune recorded by Peggy Lee. Hence, the reference to the unlikely combination becomes clear.
Track two traces the origins of Jobimâs durable bossa classic âA Insensatezâ to Frederic Chopinâs timeless âRainy Day Prelude.â Op. 28 No. 4.
Parenthetically, Chopin's favorite instrument was reputed to be the guitar. In this arrangement, the prelude gently and seamlessly morphs into the bossa and gently slides back into the completion of the Chopin, so that the simpatico between these two works is physically experienced. Roryâs smoky vocals in the original Brazilian Portuguese intensifies the latin mood. Then, the English version, brings a new appreciation for the chilling poignancy of the lyrics.
Track four is one of Duke Ellingtonâs most evocative musical compositions âSophisticated Lady.â The haunting lyrics by Mitchell Parish perfectly unite with the music to create the ultimate jazz standard. The treatment here by Rory, Dave and Jon, give the tune new life.
Michael Franks' love of Brazil as expressed in "Down In Brazil" is joined to "One Note Samba" and "Garota De Ipanema", both written by the man Franks greatly admired, Antonio Carlos Jobim. The langorous feel of this medley transports the listener to beaches in Rio and the swaying of the coconut palms.
Truman Capoteâs lyrics on the next track âA Sleepin' Beeâ, bring to mind the folky tunes of the Old South summoned by a muse that had most definitely not a drop of âcold blood.â âAll Or Nothing At Allâ lends itself to many different styles, several of which are explored on this track. Daveâs moody bass intro lays a lush carpet upon which enter the various styles of this performance of the classic Sinatra hit.
A perfect choice is the following âLa Vie En Roseâ, which is both respectful of the original and signature performance by Edith Piaf, yet exhibits new possibilities. A less familiar tune, albeit a Duke Ellington creation, is âLove You Madlyâ performed in breathtaking double time for an uptempo take, giving the sense of racing down a melodic hill with total abandon. This treatment reminds the jazzer of Anita OâDay in the video of âJazz On A Summerâs Dayâ recorded at the Newport Jazz Festival.
The final track âSolamente Una Vezâ is a kiss âgood-byeâ at the door. It is a traditional and beautiful Spanish creation that has been also recorded in English by Jackie Wilson as "You Belong To My Heart." Jon accompanies Roryâs Spanish lyrics with a vintage classical guitar. The simple rendition required no piano or bass and serves as a fitting adieu to the preceding musical adventure.
The bassist, Dave Zinno, and the guitarist, Jon Wheatley are among the finest musicians playing today. They have to their credit playdates with the likes of Diana Krall and Ron Carter and too many others to name. Their solos on these cuts will leave no doubt in the mind of the jazz aficionado of their exceptional musicianship and love of the creative adventure which is jazz.
Praise must also go to engineer, Steve Rizzo, of Stable Sound Studios in Portsmouth, RI, where, through the studioâs windows, one can literally view horses trotting by silently in the ring of the Vanderbilt Stables to which this studio is attached. It is a magical and surreal environment for recording, and the products coming out of this studio reflect this in their creativity.
The making of this CD seems to be an invitation to share in this singular jazz experience of musical genres, cultures and languages, and to be transported to the places these musicians visited during the recording. Caio, fellow travellers!
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