8 Aug

I’m still on summer hiatus for a couple more weeks, but I’ve been listening to some interesting music lately, some from singers I’ve known for a while but two I’ve never heard of before. 

  • Cyrille Aimee  –  “It’s A Good Day”  – This is not your typical Cyrille Aimee CD, although it’s getting harder to define what typical is for her. She’s recorded previously with the Chicago Jazz Orchestra, with her own combo, with solo guitar, and now, with two guitars, bass, and drums. She is turning out to be a jazz chameleon, though with much prettier skin and no evidence (that I can tell) of a tail the length of her body.  She sings (and sometimes coos) standards with really interesting rhythmic twists, she sings originals (though I don’t  think writing is her strength yet), and she gives her fabulous guitarists plenty of room to be, well, fabulous. Best surprise for me: The shifting, lightning tempo of “Love Me Or Leave Me” and the verse at the end of the song.
  • Freda Payne  –  “Come Back To Me Love” – With a long career, with hits and high points, with awards and adulation, what does Freda Payne have to prove? Who cares. I’m glad, at 72, she went back into a studio to record again in front of a big band arranged by pianist, Bill Cunliffe. The standards are great. The CD has more original songs written by Gretchen Valade, than standards. But the original songs suit Freda’s voice and temperament, though I think they lure her more into her soul and R&B side than her jazz side. Best surprise for me: What she does with the opening song, “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To,” is astonishing – and I haven’t even started to hyperbolize.  
  • Paul Jost  –  “Breaking Through”  –  Looking for the newest crooner? Looking for a soft and soothing voice? It’s not Paul Jost. What he may lack in the pretty voice category, he more than compensates for with his raw passion and vocal musicianship. His arrangements defy the expected, his scatting is effortless, not tedious, and his energy would challenge any accompany musicians, but his band is up to the challenge. Best surprise for me: the really strange arrangement of “The Days Of Wine And Roses,” complete with SFX of kids playing on the street and Paul’s own body percussion. 
  • Julia Karosi  –  “Hidden Roots  –  Julia is a Hungarian jazz singer who writes original tunes and adapts Hungarian folk songs, including such familiar sing-along ditties as “Edesanyan Rozsafaja,” and “Imhol Kerekedik.” Julia has also written lyrics for other melodies, including one song in English. For the most part – and I think the best parts – Julia is just a voice, and a lovely one, adding vocalise seamlessly with her trio. Best surprise for me: Hungarian jazz may not have much connection with the Blues, but its connection to driving swing with a few added dashes of Hungarian musical inflections and tonalities make for an exciting CD.

My summer hiatus is nearly over and Turntable For One returns to the air on Saturday, August 30th at 10:00 PM (E.D.T.) on WMNR Fine Arts Radio and streaming live at wmnr.org. I hope you’re as excited about my return as I am. If you’re not, just keep it to yourself. There’s enough negativity in the world already, don’t you think?

Need to remind yourself about how much fun it is to listen to Turntable For One?  How about a Turntable For One podcast on PRX, the Public Radio Exchange? Just click on the link below.  



  1. will duchon August 9, 2014 at 9:59 AM #

    Bill, have you heard Cecile McLorin Salvant? Excellent in English and in French! Thanks for the new information.

    • H. William Stine August 10, 2014 at 2:04 PM #

      I have and she’s causing quite a stir these days, isn’t she? Hope to find songs by her to fit a weekly theme here and there.Looking forward to hearing her on your show, too!

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