Singer ANNIE ROSS, ex of the ultimate and historical vocalese group Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, has recorded a brand new CD.  Entitled, and dedicated to Billie Holiday, “To Lady With Love,” the CD features 11 signature tunes of Holiday’s plus one of Ross’ own, “The Music Never Dies.”  On the latter Ross recalls all her heroes and influences.  It’s a very moving moment and quite frankly moves me to nostalgic tears every time she sings it.  The CD has been released on Mike Longo’s CAP label. [see below].  Ross is accompanied intimately on the CD by Bucky and John Pizzarelli.

As she does annually, Ross repeated that tune on Tues., Oct. 24, 2014 at the John Birks Gillespie Auditorium in New York’s Baha’i Center on W. 11th St.  Accompanied by her pianist, Musical Director Tardo Hammer, she was be part of the 97th Birthday celebration for Dizzy Gillespie.

Pianist, arranger. composer Longo, who runs the center’s jazz program conducted his 17 piece New York State of  the Art Jazz Ensemble as he does throughout the year, particularly on this night of celebration for his longtime friend and leader.  He writes a new arrangement each time.  Trumpeter Jimmy Owens is also aboard as guest soloist.

As I was conflicted –I was at a packed Baha’i Center listening to bassist Santi Debriano lead his quartet, “One,” record two sparkling sets.  The quartet is Roni Ben Hur, guitar, Ralph LaLama, saxes and flute, Steve Williams, drums.  What follows is an eye witness account from publicist Jim Eigo of the praise heaped on Ross that night at the Met.

“What a great night for Annie Ross!  In the house to pay respects were Tony Bennett, Bob Dorough, Carol Fredette, Jim Gavin the actor Michael Murphy sitting with Kathryn Reed Altman the widow of director Robert Altman.  [Ross was featured in two of his films.]

“Tribute performers included guitarist Russell Malone, accordionist Eddie Monteiro and vocalist Marion Cowings. Ross sang with Darmon Meader, Holli Ross, Amy London and Dylan Pramuk.

“Noted author/jazz critic Will Friedwald gave a nice overview of Annie’s career in music and film.

“Lyricist Sheldon Harnick who wrote the songs for “Fiddler On The Roof” [among others] made moving comments about Annie Ross.

“Metropolitan Room owners Bernie & Joanne  Furshpan presented Annie with a beautiful crystal microphone.

“All the performers were backed up by Annie’s regular working band Tardo Hammer on piano,  Lee Hudson on bass (subbing for her regular Neil Miner), Warren Vaché on cornet and Jimmy Wormworth on drums.  The second half of the show featured Ross accompanied by Bucky and John Pizzarelli performing the music from her new CD “To Lady With Love”.

Submitted by Jim Eigo
Jazz Promo Services

© by arnold jay smith, October 2014


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