Friday, January 3, 2020

Album Review: Pocketful of Cool from Ginetta Vendetta

Album:  Pocketful of Cool
Artist:  Ginetta Vendetta
Label:  Kickin Wiccan Music
Website:  http://ginettasvendetta.com/

A connoisseur of straight-ahead jazz and bop with a Latin flare, trumpet player Ginetta Vendetta reimagines standards wrapped in sleek arrangements on her latest CD Pocketful of Cool.   Playful, warm, and seamless, Vendetta's music entertains and tranquilizes the listener.   Supported by tenor saxophonist Danny Walsh, pianist Jon Davis, drummer Eric Halvorson, and bass player Belden Bullock, Vendetta's rendition of jazz covers shows instruments grazing in a lounging stride, knitting balsam-enriched harmonies.

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The balladry swells of "Corcovado," penned by Antonio Carlos Jobim engulf the listener in cushiony consonance.  Switching gears to the bopping grooves of "Work Song," written by Nat Adderly, Vendetta demonstrates the smooth flexing motions of her playing accentuated by Bullock's pumping bass lines.   Vendetta takes a classic 1960's hard bop standard and gently thrusts it into the 21st century without compromising the agile spontaneity of the musicians or making the music feel old fashioned. 

She applies her modern thinking to the popular burlesque caterwauler "Fever," originally composed by John Davenport (pseudonym for Otis Blackwell) and Eddie Cooley, taking Peggy Lee's timeless version into contemporary times.  Vendetta's sultry vocal inflections and slinking nuances on the number personalize the tune, giving the melody a flirty-sheen dipped in elegance.   Moving along, songs like "Angel Eyes" and "My Little Suede Shoes"  showcase Vendetta's penchant for bop with a Latin flare, delivering a simmering samba shimmy  in the former and performing a tangoesque glide in the latter.  Both display an attractive playfulness in the instrumentation.

Vendetta exhibits easy command of her vocals and of her band.  Her reimagination of a handful of jazz standards effortlessly engrosses the listener.  She displays a simpatico with the bop and straight-ahead jazz style.  That chic style is a quality that Vendetta possesses an abundant amount of and infuses into each track.

Musicians:
Ginetta Vendetta - pocket trumpet
Danny Walsh - tenor saxophone
Jon Davis - piano
Eric “The Big O” Halvorson - drums
Belden Bullock - bass

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