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Embraceable You

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Audio CD, December 23, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Jazz vocalist Joanne Barry offers a unique contemporary interpretation of mostly great standards. She's backed by some of the best jazz musicians, in a variety of settings--ranging from the intimate guitar and vocal duet of the title track to her interplay with a guitar trio to the driving sounds of an exciting horn section. She also includes fresh but little known songs in her repertoire, stretching from the blues to Brazilian.

The band, consisting of musicians who have played in diversified venues, is led by guitarist Carl Barry, who is also the arranger and producer of the CD. He has appeared at the Blue Note, Sweet Basil's, Gregory's, Gulliver's, Sonny's Place, the JVC Jazz Festival, and in tributes to Attila Zoller, Johnny Smith, and Chuck Wayne. He has recorded and/or appeared with artists as diverse as Jack Wilkins, Don Freidman, Hal Galper, Helen Humes, Hank Jones, Zoot Sims, Ethel Merman, and Julie Styne.

Other band members on "Embraceable You": Steve LaSpina on bass has led his own group on several CD's, in addition to appearing with artists such as Jim Hall and Marion McPartland. Mike Hyman on drums has appeared with Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, Gary Burton, and many others. Jack Wilkins (featured on guitar in "Alone in the World") is a supreme jazz artist in his own right, with numerous recordings and appearances worldwide. Mike Morreale is featured on trumpet and fluegelhorn; he leads his own group, and has appeared with Joe Jackson. Tony Aiello, featured on tenor, alto, and soprano saxophones, has also appeared with Joe Jackson. John Clay, featured on drums, has appeared with Zoot Sims, Jimmy Raney, C'est What (the percussionist, Jeff Berman, from C'est What, also appears on "Empty Faces"). Paul Jost, also featured on drums on several tracks, is a composer, arranger, and singer as well. Tony Regusis plays synthesizer; and Tim Lekan (who has recorded two solo CD's) is featured on bass on several tracks.


"Joanne Barry['s] . . . voice is still a rich, almost operatic instrument which she uses at her pleasure. . . . Under the right circumstances, I could easily conceive of Ms. Barry on stage in vehicles that might range from Victor Herbert to Sondheim. This is not to disparage her Jazz credentials, for at her best on ['Embraceable You'], she makes short work of chestnuts like 'Autumn Leaves,' "I Got it Bad,' and 'Beautiful Friendship.' . . . 'That's All' demonstrates how Barry can juggle the disparate parts of her skill. She swings, making the most of her voice's serpentine possibilities, all the while reading the lyric with loving care. . . . 'My Funny Valentine' tops the program off with a nicely controlled, but ardent reading . . . Carl Barry's support is solid throughout. On a lovely 'Embraceable You,' he is his wife's sole support and the track fairly resonates with erotic tension." -- Alan Bargebuhr, Cadence, January 1999

"['Embraceable You'] offers a dozen sparkling vocals [by Joanne Barry] put to Carl [Barry]'s solid arrangements for an excellent band. Joanne's voice presents a unique paradox, at once prone to being darkly shaded and bittersweet, as on the opening 'You Don't Know What Love Is,' but still capable of a coquettish verve as evidenced on the classic 'That's All.' Her choice of repertoire shows that dramatic range to advantage. . . . Her version of 'Autumn Leaves' also proves her to be a facile scatter. . . . Carl's own playing is always tasty, knowing when to lay back and let Joanne do her thing, but ready to jump in with strings-a-blazing when the time is right. . . . When this duo launches into 'I Got it Bad and That Ain't Good,' I have to say 'no, it's the other way around!, 'they've got it good . . . and that ain't bad." -- Jim Fisch, 20th Century Guitar, December 1998

"[In 'Embraceable You'], vocalist Joanne and husband-guitarist Carl have produced a wonderful set of swinging jazz standards that showcase her beautiful voice and give us a lesson in placing the guitar with a singer. . . . She has listened . . . to . . . our favorite ladies of jazz and developed a style of her . . . own to deliver a song and its message . . . in a most charming way; with scat, and in-and-out-side of the melody approaches, we travel precisely through the real meaning and guts of each offering. . . . Carl's eclectic and original guitar work supports, coaxes, and punctuates the vocal treats so well. . . . I hear a lot of love here in the interplay. His very mature and moodful solos are not unnoticed despite his humble understatement--one can't overlook their contribution to this work. . . . This is a CD recommended without reservation; a musical thrill." -- Dr. Frank Forte, Just Jazz Guitar, November 1998

1. You Don't Know What Love Is
2. My Favorite Things
3. The Island
4. Autumn Leaves
5. Embraceable You
6. Hearts Take Time
7. I've Got it Bad and That Ain't Good
8. A Beautiful Friendship
9. Alone in the World
10. That's All
11. Empty Faces
12. My Funny Valentine

Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 23, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: December 23, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B00004RDLJ
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,317,246 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. Price on March 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Where has THIS singer been hiding? Unbelievable. I rate her with the best of them... Sassy, Ella, Carmen, NONE of them have anything on Ms. Barry. Unreal band too; the guitarist Carl is really great. I'm a big fan of Steve LaSpina too... great, great, great.
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By A Customer on March 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Joanne Barry is just one terrific vocalist, and this CD is out of this world. What a range! Terrific interpretation, fantastic improvisation, and an unbelievable band to back her up, including the virtuoso guitarist, Carl Barry. This is as much a guitar record as it is a vocal record, and I recommend it as an A+ recording
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