What it looked like at the 2012 Bix Fest, thanks to Tom Warner, Phil Pospychala, Andy Schumm, Dalton Ridenhour, Josh Duffee, and the engaging singer Vanessa Tagliabue Yorke:
This performance and ten others are now available on a Rivermont Records CD called “Vanessa Tagliabue Yorke: The Racine Connection,” and it’s a thorough pleasure.
When most people go to a jam session, club, concert, or festival, if the music is superb, there’s often the regret mixed with the joy: “Wow, that was wonderful. Wish I could hear that again!” The new Rivermont Records CD makes it possible, and a delight. For one thing, Vanessa isn’t simply a record-copyist (although she does a very effective Annette Hanshaw homage on IF YOU WANT THE RAINBOW). Rather, she comes to this music with a winning combination of heartfelt emotions and deep understanding.
She has a rangy, eloquent voice — no squeaky-girl Betty Boopisms for her — and at times she evokes the raw yet controlled passion of Piaf. And her musical range is equally spacious, as evident in the songs selected: BLUE RIVER / WE JUST COULDN’T SAY GOODBYE / THOU SWELL / BACK WATER BLUES / THE VERY THOUGHT OF YOU / IF YOU WANT THE RAINBOW / BLACK BOTTOM / LOVELESS LOVE / PETITE FLEUR / IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS OF THE MORNING / THEM THERE EYES / NEBBIA. That three or four of those songs go beyond what one might expect at a Bix Festival — and that they are rendered with great feeling and depth — is tribute to Vanessa’s artistic honesty and breadth.
And when this earnest swinging singer is accompanied by great musicians Andy Schumm, Dalton Ridenhour, Yves Francois, John Otto, Dave Bock, Frank Gualtieri, Jason Goldsmith, Leah Bezin, MIke Waldbridge, and Josh Duffee, you know there is fine playing in solo, ensemble, and accompaniment to go along with Vanessa’s voice. Ten of the twelve selections were recorded “live,” in performance, which is all to the good: I’ll choose that “live” sound, which makes a listener feel as if (s)he is right there, over the pure — and sometimes tense — acoustic environment of a studio any day.
You can find this CD — and many more refreshing ones, present and historical — here. I predict that Vanessa is at the start of a long and rewarding series of performances and CDs.
May your happiness increase!