JazzTimes - 9/02, p.87
"...One of the all time great salutes to fun-filled free-spiritedness."
Personnel: Dee Dee Bridgewater (vocals); Daniele Scannapieco, Antonio Hart (alto saxophone, flute); Nicolas Folmer (trumpet); Denis Leloup (trombone); Juan Jose Mosalini (bandoneon); Thierry Eliez (piano, Hammond B-3 organ, background vocals); Louis Winsberg (guitar); Ira Coleman (bass); Andre Ceccarelli (drums); Minino Garay (percussion); Tulani Bridgewater Kowalski, China Moses (background vocals).
Recorded at Plus XXX Studios, Paris, France between November 10-20, 2001. Includes liner notes by Bob Blumenthal.
Personnel: Dee Dee Bridgewater (background vocals); Daniele Scannapieco (flute, alto saxophone); Nicolas Folmer (trumpet); Andr‚ Ceccarelli (drums); Minino Garay (congas, bongos, djembe, percussion); China Moses (background vocals).
Audio Mixer: Al Schmitt.
Liner Note Authors: Dee Dee Bridgewater; Bob Blumenthal.
Recording information: Capitol studios, Los Angeles, CA (11/10/2001-11/20/2001); Plus XXX Studios, Paris, France (11/10/2001-11/20/2001); Capitol studios, Los Angeles, CA (12/25/2001-12/29/2001); Plus XXX Studios, Paris, France (12/25/2001-12/29/2001).
Photographers: Mark Higashino; Philippe Pierangeli.
Arranger: Cecil Bridgewater.
Dee Dee Bridgewater may be the first jazz singer to devote an entire release to the theater music of Kurt Weill. She's in great form, with arrangements for the most part by her ex-husband Cecil Bridgewater. "Bilbao Song" is quite novel, with the addition of exotic flamenco guitars and percussion and a guest appearance by Antonio Hart on flute, and her tender interpretation of "My Ship" is first rate. "Alabama Song" leans more toward outright blues, with a saucy vocal and churning Hammond B3 organ. The obscure "I'm a Stranger Here Myself" starts out funky, but its middle section is pure hard bop with a fine solo by alto saxophonist Daniele Scannapieco. But the overly pop sound of keyboardist Thierry Eliez's scoring of "This Is New"; the uninspired chart of "Speak Low," which detracts from her fine singing and the bland French cabaret setting of "Youkali" hardly make them memorable. Still, she has to be admired for taking a chance by covering so many of Kurt Weill's songs (while avoiding the obvious choice of "Mack the Knife"), most of which have been overlooked in the decades since his death in 1950. ~ Ken Dryden