Reviews


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, incredible.

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!


KEYNOTES MAGAZINE
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 vintage songs.

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.

 

Read Terry Blaine's Bio Read Mark Shane's Bio Read Allan Vaché's Bio