art by Lilia Levin

Louise Rogers

Featured Artist: Louise Rogers & Rick Strong
Reviewed by:
Richard Bourcier 

CD Title: Bass-ically Speaking
Year 2005
Record Label: Rilo Records
Style: Jazz Vocals
Musicians:
Louise Rogers (vocals);
Rick Strong (acoustic bass, electric six-string bass).

Review:

There's a tremendous measure of musical flexibility within the form of a duo. Initially, duos were an economy measure instigated by club owners. It wasn't long before jazz audiences came to love the smallest of all combos. Now the duo comes in all flavors. The voice and bass combination is one of the most popular and, for the performers, the most challenging.

Louise Rogers is New Hampshire born and now resides and performs in New York City with her bassist husband Rick Strong. Her eight years in the Big Apple have seen the vocalist share the stage with Clark Terry, Al Grey, Tito Puente, Jon Faddis, Warren Vache and Jackie & Roy.

The duo appears at many educational concerts exposing children to jazz in the parks of New York. Louise Rogers has been involved in music education for many years. She conducted a clinic at the NewYork convention of the IAJE. The International Association For Jazz Educators selects their clinicians wisely and being chosen is quite an honor.

Bass-ically Speaking is the duo's debut CD and it's worth a listen. Rogers' vocal range is impressive and exceeded only by her precise control. The title song Bass-ically Speaking is the perfect vehicle for the duo's opener. Penned by Les Hooper, the piece shows Rogers and Strong at their jazzy best. Their delicate but swinging approach really sells the song.

Louise Rogers' versatility is to be admired. She tackles the haunting folk classic Shenandoah and Angel In The House with quiet enthusiasm. No album of this style would be complete without Annie Ross' arrangement of Twisted. The duo's rendition is relaxed and in the spirit of the perennial favorite. Ballads are not forgotten! Rogers and Strong deliver Jimmy Van Heusen's I Thought About You in a gently swinging fashion and Willow Weep For Me appears in classic ballad style.

Bass-ically Speaking is an honest and unpretentious debut for a most capable duo. You can listen to samples at
CDBaby.

Tracks:
Bass-ically Speaking; Angel In The House; Twisted; Willow Weep For Me; Autumn Leaves;  Peace On Earth; Dat Dere; Nana; I Thought About You; Shenandoah.

Listen or Buy:
Bass-ically Speaking at CDBaby.com

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