Sun Lakes Life - June 18, 2004
Benny Goodman Swings Into the Friendship Club
By Joe Schoen
The amazing group brought screams of joy to the Friendship Club, reminiscent of
the day when Frank Sinatra brought his crowds to their feet. Easily as talented
and certainly more beautiful, Terry Blaine sang in all styles: sweet ballads,
soul, torchy melodies, and belted out the jazz of the 20s, 30s and 40s. With
many stories and songs of the big band days, she emulated the famous women
singers such as Martha Tilton, Helen Ward, Helen Forrest, Ella Fitzgerald,
Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday and others. She invited our swinging crowd to sing
along on such classics as "Jeepers Creepers," "Goody Goody," "I Want to Be Loved
By You," "I Don't Know Why" and "What a Little Moonlight Can Do." Later she
crooned "More Than You Know" and Peggy Lee's "Why Don't You Do Right."
Ms. Blaine was accompanied by the most amazing quartet this writer has heard in
many, many years. It made me bring out my two-record album of Benny Goodman's
1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert, arguably the greatest concert of all time. The
most famous musicians performed in that concert. How fortunate were we to
thrill to four absolutely outstanding musicians. Each could easily have
qualified to perform with that Carnegie Hall orchestra.
String bass men don't get as much publicity but Richard Simon's work brings to
memory Biddy Bastien of the great Gene Krupa Orchestra, with his combination of
strong rhythm and deep warmth. And while we're on Krupa, drummer Paul Kreibich
could easily substitute for Gene with his driving solos.
Music director/pianist Mark Shane played with Benny Goodman and was featured at
the 50th Anniversary Goodman Memorial Concert at Carnegie Hall. He has worked
with Ms. Blaine for many years and is widely known as an expert in classic jazz,
but his light fingers easily conquer any style.
Finally, we come to the most exciting clarinet of Allan Vaché, who is rated as
one of the world's best. Be it sweet, soulful, racing or Dixieland, Allan
makes his music demand screaming, standing ovations. He is, to say the least,
Terry Blaine and the tremendous team of musicians gave us a concert to remember,
one of the very best we have had. If I've used many superlatives, it's because
they were positively in order!
Pennsylvania JazzFest 2004
by Tom Cahill
"Swingin' the Benny Goodman Songbook" allowed Terry Blaine, who had a great bond
with the audience, Mark Shane and clarinetist Allan Vaché to do just that! The
musical duet set the pace with tunes like Sweet Leilani, but the hit (to me) was
Terry singing some of the songs that the various female singers who performed
with Goodman from the 30s and 40s did. "I Can't Give You Anything But Love,"
liltin' Martha Tilton, 1936; "What a Little Moonlight Can Do," Billie Holiday,
1935; "Eenie, Meenie, Meinie, Mo," Helen Ward, 1935; "More Than You Know," Helen
Forrest, but sung by Fanny Brice in the twenties! "Cause I Feel Lowdown,"
Annette Hanshaw, and of course, "Why Don't You Do Right," Peggy Lee, 1942, among
others. When she sang she was in motion all the time. At her breaks Vaché and
Shane did incredible duet work. Fats Waller's "Lonesome Me" gave Mark a great
piano solo. "I Don't Know Why (I Just Do)" was a singalong. Boy did this section
of the program really remind me of having seen many of these artists at the
Paramount and Roxy's in NYC in the early 1940s.
Mississippi Rag - July 2004
Terry Blaine: Lonesome Swallow
Reviewed by Scott Yanow
Terry Blaine has been an important part of the trad jazz scene for so long that
it is surprising to realize that she started her career in pop music. She
performed with Top 40 bands in the 1970s, did studio work and toured as a backup
singer with Frankie Valli. But the turning point of her career was meeting
pianist Mark Shane in 1986 and switching her direction towards 1920s and '30s
jazz. Working regularly at Café Society in New York during 1987-91, she developed
into one of the best singers in the idiom, influenced a little by Ethel Waters
and Mildred Bailey but also developing her own fresh voice and approach to the
Although Terry Blaine and Mark Shane originally worked as a duo, they have
mostly been heard with groups during the past decade. Lonesome Swallow returns
them to their original format. Considering their years of performing together,
it is not surprising that they follow each other's musical movements very
closely and that, according to the pianist, nearly all of the 18 selections on
this CD are first takes.
This project was inspired by the four selections that Ethel Waters and James P.
Johnson recorded together during their only record date in August 1928. Blaine
and Shane perform three of these four songs ("Lonesome Swallow," "My Handy Man"
and "Do What You Did Last Night"), only skipping "Guess Who's in Town." Some of
the other selections sound very much as if they could have been turned into
musical magic by Waters and James P. on that day, particularly "Hate to Talk
About Myself," "Am I Blue," "You Don't Understand," and "Home."
On the risqué double-entendre songs such as "My Handy Man" (a staple in Alberta
Hunter's repertoire when she was in her 80s), "Do What You Did Last Night" and a
slow and sensual "Squeeze Me," Terry Blaine gives the songs the right
combination of wit and sauciness. Other pieces find her sounding conversational,
expressive and swinging. Her musical partner, Mark Shane, is a talented stride
pianist who, while hinting at the past, has his own style, sounding relaxed even
on uptempo romps such as "Shim Sham Shimmy Dance" and his version of "I Got
Rhythm." Needless to say, he is also a masterful accompanist who inspires the
singer rather than overplaying or competing with her.
Overall, Lonesome Swallow is a delightful set that acts as a perfect
introduction to both Terry Blaine and Mark Shane. It is available from
www.jukeboxjazz.com and by calling 1-800-644-9290.