by Constance Tucker
A-listers in vocal jazz today, exquisitely crafted arrangements of timeless standards and a cavalcade of musicians that bring Jeremy Fox’s stunning ideas to life. This is a keeper.
Jeremy Fox is a mulit-talented, pianist, educator, arranger, and vocal coach, since 2004, Jeremy has coordinated the SMV Vocal Jazz Camps around the United States and Canada (www.VocalJazzCamp.com). For five years, he has also co-conducted a weeklong workshop for music directors each summer called the Jazz Theory Boot Camp (www.JazzTheoryBootCamp.com). He is active as a clinician, and has presented workshops and clinics around the world. Jeremy has also served as guest conductor for All-State and Honor ensembles in the United States and Canada. The SWCC Vocal Jazz Festival that Jeremy revived brought in such artists as: The Real Group, the New York Voices, Rajaton, Mark Murphy, Nancy King, and m-pact. After Jeremy’s departure from the college, the festival was renamed the Fox Festival, bearing Jeremy’s name.
With Love, the debut release titled under Fox’s name, was born out of his doctoral work in jazz composition at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. The idea behind the project was quite self-realized: pull your resources for a stellar line-up of vocalists, arrange for each one, then record and watch you ingenious plan become the finished product. The line-up in unmatched: Kate McGarry, Kevin Mahogany, Peter Eldridge, Lauren Kinhan, Kate Reid, and more. Each delivers first-rate performances and are uniquely different from each other. Which makes the release even more enticing, as you feel you are getting the opportunity to have multiple recordings rolled into one experience. I wish all vocal albums were made this way, and I truly hope this idea catches on even more. The material is recognizable and classic, from the likes of Cole Porter, Stephen Sondheim, and other classic songsmiths. Over eighty musicians help to realize Fox’s arrangements, which makes this effort even more remarkable.
Kate Reid sings and scats over a swinging “That Old Feeling,” Reid alto voice is so tantalizing and a great way to kick off the CD, McGarry is enchanting on a peregrinate ofstrings “All My Tomorrows,” is a winner. Mahogany’s deeply resonate voice is a wonderful compliment to “Three Little Words.” Fox uses his pen to settle the mood with a strings arrangement of Sondheim’s “Not While I’m Around,” which features stirring vocals from Sunny Wilkinson, while “Girl Talk” is given a bluesy chanteuse feel by Wendy Pedersen. Additional highlights are a glamorous version of “Moonray,” which gives Kinhan a chance to open up vocally. Reid is given another opportunity to shine, and shine she does in the setting she excels at in spades with a gentle version of “So Many Stars.”
Every vocalist is considered, every arrangement refined and every result is seamless. It takes a truly gifted arranger to take this many musicians, this many vocalists shine, and still convey a cohesive concept that is entertaining, enjoyable and quite musical. It shows in every cut, and it shows it was done With Love.
Track Listing: That Old Feeling; All My Tomorrows; Three Little Words; Get Out Of Town; Not While I’m Around; Girl Talk; Dindi; Friendship; I’m Glad There Is You; Moonray; So Many Stars.
Personnel: Jeremy Fox: arrangements, conducting, piano (5), keyboard (6); Kate Reid: vocals (1, 11); Kate McGarry: vocals (2); Kevin Mahogany: vocals (3); Derek Fawcett: vocals (4); Sunny Wilkinson: vocals (5); Wendy Pedersen: vocals (6); Rose Max: vocals (7); Ramatis Moraes: vocals (7); Anders Edenroth: vocals (8); Peter Eldridge: vocals (9); Lauren Kinhan: vocals (10); Cassandra Eisenreich: flute; Ernesto Fernandez: flute; Allison Hubbell: flute; James Drayton: oboe; Rachel Lueck: English horn; Peter Bianca: clarinet; Derek Smith: clarinet, bassoon, bass clarinet; Isabel Thompson: clarinet; Carlos Felipe Vina: bassoon; Julia Paine: bassoon; Stanley Spinola: horn; Larysa Pavelek: horn; Jon Lusher: horn; Sarah Williams: horn; Matthew Shefcik: flugelhorn; Adam Diderrich: violin; Michelle Godbee: violin; Patricia Jancova: violin; Karen Lord-Powell: violin; Zachary Piper: violin; Katrina Schaefer: violin; James Schlender: violin; Arianne Urban: violin; Abby Young: violin (5, 7); Steffen Zeichner: violin; Amanda Diaz: viola; Emily Jones: viola; Robyn Savitzky: viola; Kathryn Severing (5, 7); Joy Adams: cello (5, 7); Sarah Gongaware: cello; Cecilia Huerta: cello; Chris Young: cello; Pedro Fernandez: percussion; Nathan Skinner: vibraphone; Maria Chlebus: vibraphone (6); Vivek Gurudutt: table; Phuttaraksa Kamnirdratana: harp; Ryan Chapman: trumpet, flugelhorn; Paul Equihua: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jared Hall: trumpet, flugelhorn; Derek Ganong: trumpet, flugelhorn; Eric Bowman: trombone; Stephen Szabadi: trombone; Chris Gagne: trombone; Major Bailey: bass trombone; Neil Carson: saxophone; Dan Andrews: saxophone; Alex Weitz: saxophone; Matt Burchard: saxophone; Derek Smith: saxophone; Mark Small: clarinet; Ernesto Fernandez: flute; Erin Fishler-Branam: vocals (8); Sherrine Mostin: scratch vocals; Daniel Strange: piano, keyboards; Rene Toledo: guitar; Geoffrey Saunders: bass; Michael Piolet: drums; Ramatis Moraes: guitar (7); Lindsey Blair: guitar (6); Zach Larmer: guitar (6); Steve Lewis: drums (6); Angelo Versace: piano (4); Tim Jago: guitar (4); Daniel Susnjar: (4).
Record Label: Self Produced