Susie Meissner: I’m Confessin’
2011 Lydian Jazz Records, LLC
Susie Meissner on Vocals
Wycliffe Gordon on Trombone
John Shaddy on Piano and Arrangements
Dean Johnson on Bass
Tim Horner on Drums
Greg Riley on Tenor and Soprano Sax
Freddie Hendrix on Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Paul Meyers on Guitar
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
July 30, 2014
This CD is a wonderful selection of ballads by George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, and more, sung by the very versatile vocalist, Susie Meissner. Along with Ms. Meissner are a fantastic ensemble of quality musicians, such as Wycliffe Gordon on trombone and Freddie Hendrix on trumpet and flugelhorn. Each musician gets a generous solo or three or four, by time the 14 tracks wind down. In fact, on some tracks, the vocals appear as accompaniment, with the expansive solos featured throughout. This is a CD worth experiencing frequently.
#2 – I’m Confessin’ - Composed by Neiburg/Daugherty/Reynolds. This track is a lovely duet between Susie Meissner and Wycliffe Gordon. Ms. Meissner’s vocals flow with smooth eloquence, as she creates a soulful, musical message. Mr. Gordon plays the theme with few ornamentations, expanding the mellowness of the moment. John Shaddy, on piano, accompanies with keyboard harmonies and pulse. The absence of drums accentuates the tonal lyrics.
#6 – Tangerine - Composed by Schertzinger/Mercer. On this track Tim Horner on drums and Greg Riley on saxophone bring some electricity, although the tenor of the album is all about dusk and candles, and maybe a warm cognac. The music is leisurely, never rushed, very sincere. This ballad was sung with rich clarity.
#9 – Skylark - Composed by Carmichael/Mercer. Paul Meyers, on guitar, is the musical partner on this duo, with a Skylark you won’t forget. With a mixture of whispering and operatic lyrics, Ms. Meissner shows off her abundant skills, reaching the highest notes briskly. The guitar accompaniment is pleasantly ethereal.
#13 – Day by Day - Composed by Cahn/Weston/Stordahl. This track includes an intriguing introduction by bassist, Dean Johnson (other tracks, not mentioned above for space reasons, had extended bass solos). Also featured are Freddie Hendrix on trumpet, Mr. Riley on saxophone, Mr. Meyers on guitar, and Mr. Shaddy on piano. Ms. Meissner’s rhythmic vocals exude rapture, but she gives much of the ballad to the instrumentalists.