Jazz CD Reviews

Barbara Morrison – A Sunday Kind Of Love – Savant Records

An album filled with soulful magic.

Published on July 23, 2013

Barbara Morrison – A Sunday Kind Of Love – Savant Records SCD 2128, 54:21 ****:

(Barbara Morrison – vocals; Houston Person – tenor saxophone; Stuart Elster – piano; Richard Simon – bass; Lee Spath – drums)

The late great actress Bette Davis offered the following pithy quotation towards the end of her career: “getting old is not for sissies”. Barbara Morrison, a Los Angeles based singer, who at the age of sixty, recently encountered some serious medical problems which resulted in the amputation of one of her legs, but that has not deterred her from promoting her debut album for Savant Records called A Sunday Kind Of Love at a CD release party in the LA area.

Barbara is one of those individuals who, over the span of her career, has unfortunately not received the kind of acclaim that her talent deserves. These tracks were recorded between 2010 and 2012, and gives her a chance to showcase her wonderful vocal skills while benefiting from having probably one of the most sympathetic supporting player with her, tenorman Houston Person. In many of today’s releases, listeners are faced with the dilemma that the session is larded with mediocre tracks, making the overall project less appealing. This is not the case here. From tracks one through twelve, Morrison and the band deliver the goods in sparking fashion and toss in a surprise or two such as with Jim Lowe’s improbable ‘50s hit “The Green Door” which turns into a clever swinger.

Teaming up Morrison and Houston Person is no mere coincidence as they previously recorded together in 2005 for a disc called Live At The Dakota to wonderful effect. He is a perfect foil again as he provides the necessary fills and obbligatos behind her vocals, in addition to his solos which although not long, make this a flawless blend of talents. Whether it is rough-sounding opening track “I’m Just A Lucky So And So” to the romantic “My Romance” or the shape-shifting“ Polka Dots And Moonbeams” Morrison and the band play their musical hand with style and swagger. But to hear Morrison at her best, listen to the dramatic understanding of blues and soul on “Good Morning Heartache” and the Al Green gem “Let’s Stay Together”.

Barbara Morrison is a singer of self-possession and persistence who knows how to carry an album filled with soulful magic.

TrackList: I’m Just A Lucky So And So; Soft Winds; The Green Door; Good Morning Heartache; A Sunday Kind Of Love; On The Sunny Side Of The Street; I Cover The Waterfront; My Romance; Polka Dots And Moonbeams; I Love You For Sentimental Reasons; Medley: Smile/ Make Someone Happy; Let’s Stay Together

—Pierre Giroux

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