Title - 'Live at Maureen’s Jazz Cellar'
Artist - Tania Grubbs Quintet
For those not in the know, Live at Maureen's Jazz Cellar (released this past January 20th, 2020) was recorded live on May 24th, 2019 at Maureen’s Jazz Cellar in Nyack, NY and marks the premiere of the Live at Maureen's recording series.
Indeed, the venue itself was named in honor of pianist David Budway’s late sister Maureen Budway who was an enormously talented vocalist and a close personal friend of exceptional jazz singer Tania Grubbs.
When world-renowned trumpeter Sean Jones described Tania, he said knowing her has been a joy, “not only because of her skill as an artist but because of her connection to humanity.”
Furthermore, there probably couldn’t be two more perfect words to describe not only Tania but her fascinating, beautiful music: joy and humanity.
Here on this brand new album, Tania went about carefully selecting the songs for this project, spending a great deal of time thinking about the repertoire of music she’d been perfecting over the years.
On this 12 track new album, the Tania Grubbs Quintet features David Budway on piano, Tania’s husband and Pittsburgh Symphony member Jeff Grubbs on bass, Ron Affif on guitar and, James Johnson III on drums.
1. 'A Flower is a Lovesome Thing'
2. 'Bird on a Wire'
5. 'Hope Is the Thing with Feathers'
7. 'The Peacocks'
9. 'Harvest Moon'
10. 'I Remember'
11. 'Wichita Lineman'
12. 'Don’t Take Your Love Away from Me'
In addition to several original compositions, the album kicks off with a spirited rendition of 'A Flower is a Lovesome Thing' (by Pittsburgh’s own Billy Strayhorn), which she backs up seamlessly with the summer breeze appeal of Leonard Cohen’s 'Bird on a Wire' and then some mid-tempo jazzy pop sway found within Joni Mitchell's 'Love.'
The intricate majesty of 'Peace' is then brought forth and that is followed by 'Hope Is the Thing with Feathers,' a nod to Tania's love of poetry and literature, whilst also borrowing the text from Emily Dickinson.
Next up is some stand up bass funk combined with Tania's excellent scat work on 'Ornithology' which is followed by the ornate 'The Peacocks (A Timeless Place),' the exuberant 'Autumn,' and then comes one of my own personal favorites, a quite magnificent version of Neil Young’s 'Harvest Moon.'
The album then rounds out with the delicate 'I Remember,' which is backed by a Julia Fordhamesque cover of Glen Campbell's Wichita Lineman,' finally coming to a close with the gently finger-snappin' jauntiness of 'Don't Take Your Love from Me.'
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