Rebecca Hardiman | Collections, Vol. 1

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Collections, Vol. 1

by Rebecca Hardiman

In the overpopulated field of jazz singers which actually includes quite a few strong talents, Rebecca Hardiman stands out from the crowd. She has a beautiful voice, not only sings perfectly in tune but caresses the center of each note, swings up a storm.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Too Marvelous for Words
1:35 $0.99
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2. Round Midnight
4:40 $0.99
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3. You'd Be so Nice to Come Home To
2:55 $0.99
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4. Moon River
3:20 $0.99
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5. Godchild
1:55 $0.99
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6. Here, There and Everywhere
3:16 $0.99
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7. Time After Time
4:35 $0.99
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8. Don't Go to Strangers
4:40 $0.99
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9. It's All Right with Me
3:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
In the overpopulated field of jazz singers which actually includes quite a few strong talents, Rebecca Hardiman stands out from the crowd. She has a beautiful voice, not only sings perfectly in tune but caresses the center of each note, swings up a storm, scats with constant creativity, digs into the meanings behind the lyrics she interprets, and always sounds as if she absolutely loves to sing. And, as she shows throughout Collections, Vol. 1, she has a knack for picking great songs to perform.

Born and raised in Salem, Oregon, Rebecca remembers hearing recordings of Dexter Gordon and Charlie Parker as a child in addition to the classic jazz singers. After college, she began her career near the top as a member of The Ritz, a major jazz vocal group from the 1980s. “We performed at clubs and restaurants in Boston and Rhode Island, at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and in Florida. I learned a lot about being professional and always singing in tune; it was a great start for me.” A few years later, after leaving the group, she settled in Oregon with her husband pianist Ray Hardiman and led a vocal trio, Euphoria, for a decade. In 2012, Rebecca began her solo career and since then has performed regularly in clubs and recorded a string of impressive albums: I’ll Remember April, Easy Living, The Merriest, Honoring Ella: A 100th Birthday Tribute, and Rain Sometimes.

For Collections Vol. 1, Rebecca chose nine songs that she has loved for a long time, many of which she originally heard either in her father’s record collection or during high school or college. In addition to Ray Hardiman, a pianist who is equally skilled as a soloist and as a sensitive accompanist, she is joined by the solidly swinging bassist Whitney Moulton, the supportive drummer Kurt Deutscher (who gets to cut loose a bit on “It’s All Right With Me”) and, on some numbers, Laird Halling who contributes fine playing on alto, clarinet and flute.

The set begins with a brief and boppish version of “Too Marvelous For Words” that is inspired by trombonist Frank Rosolino’s joyful recording. A grandfather clock’s somber ringing sets the stage for an atmospheric “’Round Midnight” before Rebecca swings hard on “You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To” which is given a Latin tinge. A romantic “Moon River” has Rebecca hinting at a mix tone-wise of Doris Day and prime Anita O’Day while always sounding like herself. She scats her way through “Godchild” (from Miles Davis’ Birth of the Cool recordings), adding the melody of “The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea” which has the same chord changes.

While Paul McCartney’s “Here, There And Everywhere” is associated with the Beatles, Rebecca first heard the pretty song performed by George Benson in the 1980s. Her warmth and inspired choice of notes on this and “Don’t Go To Strangers” are ballad singing at its best. The other performances include an infectious “Time After Time” (listen to how inventive her singing is during the second chorus), a rollicking “It’s All Right With Me” that is worthy of Ella.

Rebecca plans to record Collections, Vol. 2 and then a ballad album with strings. Beyond that, she has a special goal: “I hope to have at least one performance in every state; I’m up to six states so far.” So in the future, look for Rebecca Hardiman in a state near you! But for now, her wonderful recordings are evidence of her vocal brilliance.

Scott Yanow, jazz journalist/historian and author of 11 books including The Jazz Singers and Jazz On Record 1917-76

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