Just Peace

Rosella Clemmons Washington

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Just Peace Review

by Steve Loewy

This fine debut recording by vocalist Rosella Clemmons Washington is noteworthy in part for her ability to attract the likes of saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr., violinist John Blake, and trumpeter Cecil Bridgewater to supplement her small group on a few tracks. The vocalist is a fine stylist, able to infuse lyrics with emotional depth. The versions of more popular tunes hold up best. Her renditions of "My Favorite Things," "Summertime" (two very different interpretations), "Since I Fell for You," "My One and Only Love," and, to a lesser extent, "Come Sunday" effectively transform the pieces to her own. The compositions by Washington and the other band members are not always as interesting, and, in general, the arrangements tend to be more than a bit on the light side, with the contributions by keyboardists Bill Meek Jr. and Dawn Crist adding to the smooth jazz aura. Washington shows considerable potential, and it is not difficult to imagine her in a more demanding setting.