Roseanna Vitro

Live at the Kennedy Center

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Even if she isn't atop the latest poll of jazz vocalists, Roseanna Vitro is simply one of the best in the business. This adventurous concert at the Kennedy Center, with frequent collaborator Kenny Werner on piano, features bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner providing a potent rhythm section. Her expressive take of "Like Someone in Love" swings like mad and features Werner's daredevil soloing. Vitro's humorous side comes across in Betty Carter's sassy and seductive "Please Do Something." The vocalist is at her very best interpreting a pair of songs by the late pianist Bill Evans, both of which have had lyrics added to them. The demanding "Twelve Tone Tune" is a challenge for any musician, but Vitro and her trio devour its tricky changes. The haunting "Epilogue" was conceived by Evans as a solo piano miniature (and later recorded in concert as the conclusion of a suite arranged in memory of his father); Vitro penned the thoughtful lyrics, while Werner's inventive accompaniment makes him the perfect partner for the singer. Nor is she hesitant to explore repertoire from the world of pop. Vitro's soulful duet with Werner of Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" is a gem, though Donny Hathaway's limp "Tryin' Times" doesn't quite make the grade. Roseanna Vitro has long been deserving of greater recognition among jazz listeners as a whole and this CD is a perfect place to start for the novice or an automatic purchase for those already familiar with her work.

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