Saturday , March 2 2024
'Words & Music' offers a bounty of melodic jazz blends, from bossa nova to cabaret and swing.

Music Review: Jeannie Tanner – ‘Words & Music’

Words & Music is a collection of Great American Songbook-inspired tunes written by trumpet virtuoso Jeannie Tanner. The two-disc recording features a wide array of vocalists, including Alyssa Allgood, Rose Colella, Elaine Dame, Kimberly Gordon, Paul Marinaro, Tammy McCann, Jeff Meegan, Typhanie Monique, Andy Pratt, Abigail Riccards, Michele Thomas, and Amy Yassinger.

Jeannie TannerOpening with the piano jazz melody “That Word,” Tanner takes audiences back to a time when blues singers ruled the nightlife of cabarets and jazz clubs far and wide. The recording moves into the summery ambience of “Wait for Me,” laced in bolts of bossa nova-tinged guitar riffs and twining strings. The bluesy wavelets strewn along “Endless Joy” put listeners at ease with a torchlight atmosphere and turn to an R&B pulse tailored in perky keys and flowering horns across “Reflections in Mirrors.” The melody brims with a sunny outlook on life and people.

The silky, burlesque swagger of the vocals ruminating along “You Can Kiss Me Into Anything” proclaims, “You can kiss me into anything / Baby, it is true / You can bring me gold and diamonds / We can vacation by the sea / But if you really want my heart, Honey / It’s by kissing me.” The tender musings of the piano and strings create a glossy finish along “Remembering” as they promenade gently around the vocals. The bubbly tempo of “Fred and Ginger” is a complimenting tribute to Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, sealed in traipsing bass beats and a playful skip in the keys.

The wandering keys threaded along “Can’t Believe It’s You” project a gospel-imbued atmosphere and switch to a swinging jazz throb through “Come Along for the Ride.” The bluesy texture of the keys in “Kiss Me” exudes a cabaret flare and permeates a sweltering New Orleans-jazz hue in “Vegas.” Fluid and sonically uplifting, “It’s Never Too Late” cradles the listener in warm instrumentation and travels into ragtime blues across “I’m Whistling a Tune,” which is tweaked with an adult contemporary pop slant.

Words & Music offers a bounty of melodic jazz blends, from bossa nova to cabaret and swing. Each track is a singalong tune, making the recording appealing to a wide audience and crossing over many sectors of jazz.


Jeannie Tanner – trumpet, Dan Murphy – piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3 Organ, Cory Biggerstaff – bass, Neal Alger – guitar, Andy Pratt – guitar, Darren Scorza – drums, Chris Madsen – saxophone, Elaine Dame – flute, Adam Thomberg – trombone, Kathleen Hughes and Carol Kalvonjian – violins, Benton Wedge – viola, Jill Kaeding – cello


Disc 1:  “That Word,” “Wait for Me,” “Endless Joy,” “Reflections in Mirrors,” “You Can Kiss Me Into Anything,” “Remembering,” “Fred and Ginger,” “Mr. Midnight,” “Can’t Believe It’s You,” “Come Along for the Ride”

Disc 2:  “Kiss Me,” “Red,” “Vegas,” “Be Strong,” “You’ll Always Have My Heart,” “It’s Never Too Late,” “My Whole World Is You,” “I’m Whistling a Tune,” “Promise Me the Moon”


About susanfrancesny

Born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in eastern Long Island.

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