Down Beat - 3/02, p.653.5 stars out of 5
- "...Rubin imbues GIRL TALK with unsinkable 'You go, girl!' flair, a soulful, richly textured voice and the nuanced passion of a method actor..."
Personnel: Vanessa Rubin, Etta Jones (vocals); Eric Alexander, Javon Jackson (tenor saxophone); Steve Davis (trombone); Cedar Walton, Larry Willis (piano); David Williams (bass); Lewis Nash (drums).
Recorded at Sear Sound-Studio C, New York, New York on December 11-13, 2000.
Includes liner notes by Devra Hall.
Jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin is joined by a stellar cast on her second Telarc release. Bassist David Williams and drummer Lewis Nash hold down the rhythm, joined alternately by pianist/arrangers Larry Willis and Cedar Walton, tenor saxophonists Eric Alexander and Javon Jackson, and trombonist Steve Davis. Rubin's flexible voice covers a wide-ranging repertoire, from standards to Sondheim ("Loving You") to adult contemporary (Bill Withers and Larry Carlton's "Whatever Happens"). She also contributes a yearning original ballad, the closing "If You Ever Go Away." The album is memorable mostly for its offbeat tracks, however: a jazz-waltz take on "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" (with the bridge in a snappy four); Walter Bishop's novelty number, "Sex Is a Misdemeanor (The More You Miss, de Meaner You Get)," a perky calypso featuring Rubin's double-tracked vocal with only bass and drums; and the penultimate track, David Williams' endearing "Won't Have to Say Goodbye," which begins and ends with an implied reggae feel but swings in the middle. Rubin also delivers a splendid "One for My Baby" and invites the great Etta Jones for a tˆte-…-tˆte on "But Not for Me" and "Gee, Baby, Ain't I Good to You." ~ David R. Adler