Jacqui Naylor - A Voice We Like
What was the most recent CD (album) you listened to all the way through, and then said to yourself - "hey - I wanna listen to that again, right now" - ?
For me, it's the second CD in vocalist Jacqui Naylor's 2-CD release, "Live East / West" (2005 Ruby Star Records). On the second CD, recorded live at Yoshi's in Oakland, CA. Jacqui performs some sweet originals, especially her love song to San Francisco, "City By the Bay," plus several intriguing covers. She and her quartet take popular songs like Carol King's "So Far Away" and add nice jazzy arrangements that should appeal to fans of both pop and jazz. Other covers include Jimi Hendrix' "Angel," James Taylor's "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight," Pink Floyd's "Money," and the old chestnut, "Black Coffee".
The first CD of the collection was recorded live at Birdland in New York City, and that more uneven disc has its charms as well - especially Jacqui's covers of Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime," Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth," and the Gershwin's "But Not For Me." For me, it's good to hear contemporary jazz artists who respect and interpret older songs, but who are also creative enough and hip enough to take on new material.