Scull/Martin: Allison Scull & Victor Martin Live

Allison Scull: Allison Scull & Victor Martin Live
Title: Allison Scull & Victor Martin Live
Label: CD Baby

CD Design: Zan Design, There with Allison & Victor The first time you listen to Allison Scull & Victor Martin Live you're in for a treat. And the second time. And the third. And every time. This CD is one of those timeless recordings that will withstand repeated playing for many, many years. Why? Because the two musicians who created it...and those musicians who've joined them...are just that: Musicians ... skilled musicians for whom music is their life, a passion, a way of expressing themselves and not a fast road to fame and riches. Allison Scull has a luminous, brilliant voice that ranges from earthy contralto to crystalline soprano effortlessly. In fact, all of her singing feels completely effortless, never forced, never strained. Allison's guitar playing is as skillful as her singing. It's subtle and never overpowers her singing because...while Allison does play guitar, her voice is her instrument that she commands with great talent. Although it appears Victor Martin plays the sax, he doesn't really. He paints colorful soundscapes with it ... using a few, clear brush strokes to create his musical images, not the muddied, frenetic onslaught of noise all too often associated with the saxophone. The blending of Allison and Victor's voices when they sing in duet is magical. Victor usually remains in the background for his vocals, his resonant voice providing true counterpoint (learned through years of jazz musicianship) for Allison's lead. But when Victor takes the vocal lead as on Bob Marley's Waiting in Vain, he does so with authority and command ... and with a phrasing that's been uniquely shaped by his years of playing jazz saxophone. Intimacy. That's what is so compelling about this CD. Allison and Victor make you feel as if they're singing just to you. But in spite of the quiet, reserved approach these two outstanding musicians take, the music never slips into becoming background music. There's an urgency about the compositions and arrangements that captures the listener's attention. The play list features a near even blend of Allison's original compositions and covers arranged by Victor. But the covers bring new sensibility and power, so you feel as if you're hearing them for the first time. But if you're trying to pin a genre onto this CD ... good luck. There is a distinct Latin flavor, but the CD takes inspiration from all over the world. My Room vibrates with a definite Middle Eastern essence. And Allison's rendition of Autumn Leaves makes you feel like you're sitting in a dusky, smoky French cabaret, while Corcovado will whisk you to the nightclubs of Rio. Jazz? Yes, some of the CD is jazz. Folk? Indeed, it's folk as well. And it's Latin, reggae, pop, and so much more. But it isn't like one song is folk and the next jazz. Every song combines elements of different genres seamlessly into a genre that's uniquely Allison and Victor. A CD of this quality comes about only from the effort of many people. Allison and Victor are joined by Bill Vallaire on bass, Joe Furnari on congas, and Vic's longtime partner Rick Garrison on guitar for Corcovado and Autumn Leaves. Ron Davis recorded the CD live at Rare Images in Mount Shasta, California. He also mixed and mastered the CD at A Wing and a Prayer Productions in Central Point, Oregon. Tyler Davis was assistant sound engineer. The only problem with the CD is that it's a live album ... and I wasn't able to be there to experience the excitement of the recording session in person. However, there is magic in this CD, a magic that makes you feel like you are there with Allison and Victor. Written by Will Newman.

1.1 Esperanza
1.2 Time After Time
1.3 Color of Your Life
1.4 Panorama of Gold
1.5 Waiting in Vain
1.6 My Room
1.7 Sugar Mama
1.8 Les Feuilles Mortes (Autumn Leaves)
1.9 Corcovado

Scull/Martin: Allison Scull & Victor Martin Live

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