Little Jazz Bird is a great name for the recording and the artist. The listener gets the crystal clear voice of Christina Crerar and a dozen-plus zesty arrangements that conjure up the vintage vocal and instrumental sound of the 1930s and 1940s.
It becomes obvious that a great deal of work and dedication went into assembling the music and musicians on this project. The effort truly shows in the final product. It is fun because the musicians had fun making it. Ms. Crerar shows her ability to pick songs. The menu is a solid mix of well known standards and some obscure, often forgotten ones.
I appreciate a vocalist who wants to user her voice as a storyteller and as an instrument. Check out Ms. Crerar's scatting prowess on "Hershey Bar" and with a very cool vocal/trombone solo combo with Jim McFalls on "But Not For Me." Points are given for originality and risk.
Is a jazz standard that is done differently still a standard? I say yes and new arrangements of standards deliver a compliment to the composer. What a great way for the audience to hear the familiar "reshaped." Tom Baldwin’s bass fits hand in glove on Ms. Crerar’s duet interpretation of "You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To." Sweet!!!
We also get a little taste of Latin flair with Antonio Carlos Jobim’s "Waters of March" and the spicy "An Occasional Man." Great stories and lots of fun with these tunes.
Robert Redd’s piano playing is fantastic. He gives us some great supportive playing and very tasteful stretching out when the group breaks into a trio setting.
The other supporting musician handle the ensemble role demeaned in the arrangements. When given the spotlight, however, solos are crafted in character.
If you like passion in your music, you need to check out this recording for yourself.
Bruce Pulver, December, 2005