Beverly Lewis does not worry about the particulars of
proper jazz vocals on All
Shades of Blues, because she
is also a blues singer, and the two vocal styles often have
different agendas. Lewis, however, has but one agenda: stepping up
to the microphone and belting out whatever song she is singing con
brio and in full command.
Couple this inhibition with a very fine band led by
guitarist/husband John Fifield, and a brush fire is sure to start
Right out of the chute,
Lewis goes on the prowl with Denise
LaSalle's warning shot, "Someone Else is Steppin' In," fueled by
Fifield's slinky, full-throated slide guitar. Having established her
fides, Lewis moves on to Joe
Zawinul's soul-jazz standard
"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," singing at full throttle. Bobby
Charles' "The Jealous Kind" is
played with a slight country tinge, Fifield's solid slide guitar
tempering the piece as a country-blues hybrid.
The pairing of "Every Day I have The
Blues" and "Fine and Mellow" is as inspired as its slick
arrangement, burning intensely and scorching all behind it, making
it a great set closer. The Miles
Brown, Jr. "All Blues" provides
Lewis an excellent jazz vehicle with a blues subtext, as the singer
negotiates the piece with precision and class, never overdoing it in
the technical department. Buddy Johnson's "Since I Fell for You,"
provides an Etta
James vibe, taking the edge off
the disc's hard blues.
But that is only for a second,
because "It's Love Baby (24 Hours a Day)" follows, and is a
barnburner that takes full example of Randy Singer's Little
harmonica playing. All
Shades of Blues should bring
Lewis some much deserved attention: her forceful singing and robust
delivery have genuine soul; her band is tight; and her repertoire
Track Listing: Someone Else Steppin' In; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy; The
Jealous Kind; Everyday I Have the Blues/Fine and Mellow; All Blues;
Since I Fell for You; It's Love Baby (24 Hours a Day); Mad About Him
, Sad Without Him Blues; Love Me Like a Man; Howlin' Dog Blues.
Personnel: Beverly Lewis: vocals; John Fifield: guitars; Gabriel
Vivas: electric and acoustic bass; Goran Rista: drums (2, 3, 6, 7,9)
Lee Levin: drums (1, 4, 5, 8); Paul Banman: keyboards (1-7); Doug
Emery: keyboards (9); Sammy Figueroa: percussion (2); Randy Singer:
harmonica (1, 6, 7); Teddy Mulet: brass (5, 8); David Fernandez:
reeds (2, 4, 7, 9) Gabe Vales: bass (3).
by Michael Bailey