Jazz CD Reviews
Jackie Cain & Roy Kral – Echoes – Jazzed Media
Published on January 9, 2007
(Jackie Cain, vocals; Roy Kral, vocals & piano; Brian Atkinson, vibes; John Mosher, bass; Gary Nash, drums)
This never-before-released live performance recording by one of the nicest, most handsome and talented married couples in jazz comes from a 1976 gig at the second and larger of Howard Rumsey’s jazz clubs in Southern California – Concerts By The Sea in Redondo Beach. The vocal duo of Jackie Cain and her husband Roy specialized in great, often offbeat songs from modern jazz, cabaret, and Broadway. She had a lovely alto voice, Roy a hip piano style, and they usually sang an octave apart, sort of like the sound of the old Shearing Quintet’s piano and vibes. They did this from 1948 till Roy’s passing in 2002, never getting the full acclaim they well deserved. This disc would be a fine introduction to their art, and it’s also a must-have for their avid collector-fans.
Jackie and Roy do tunes from out-of-mainstream songwriters such as Dave Frishberg and Alec Wilder. The latter also never received the acclaim he deserved; three of his songs are on this disc, including the rare The Echoes of My Life, whose unusual lyrics would fall flat sung by almost anyone else. Lovebirds Jackie and Roy put on their make-believe marital armour to do Andre & Dory Previn’s The Runaround. One of their big hits – Rodgers & Hart’s Mountain Greenery – perfectly captures the duo’s infectious and optimistic swing. Even Billy Joel gets included to close out the sophisticated program of 15 songs.
TrackList: I Wonder What’s the Matter with Me, Corcovado, Mountain Greenery, It’s So Peaceful in the Country, Walk Pretty, Sweet Surrender, The Fat Man, How Little We Know, The Way We Are, The Echoes of My Life, Samba Do Aviao, Winter Comes, The Runaround, Wheelers and Dealers, New York State of Mind.
– John Henry