Redmond, Langosch & Cooley,
Compared to What
(CDBaby, 2013)

Mary Ann Redmond is a Washington, D.C., area legend. She has won an astonishing 22 Washington Area Music Awards (Wammies) and, if there were any justice in the music industry -- or indeed, if there were still a music industry -- she would be an international legend, but that hasn't happened so she remains mostly a regional artist, a steadily working musician with a cult following.

Maybe one reason she hasn't broken through is that she is almost impossible to categorize. Fluent in rock, pop, blues, jazz and soul, Redmond can sing it all and does, often in the same show.

Her new album, featuring in addition to herself on vocals and guitar, Paul Longosch on bass and Jim Cooley on keys, backed up by Dave Mattacks on drums, Don Hovey on guitar and Bruce Swaim's tenor sax, is a solid jazz and soul offering and is one of her best albums to date.

Redmond kicks the set off with with the standard, "Come Rain or Come Shine" and immediately follows that up with a pulsating version of Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love," a move that signals that we're in for a wide-ranging musical experience here. The song selections include everything from Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad & That Ain't Good" to Stevie Wonder's "Creepin'," with a side trip through Joni Mitchell's "Coyote" and Smoky Robinson's composition "Ain't That Peculiar" and the Beatles' "Fool on the Hill." Redmond even includes two originals, "Storm is Coming" and "Love Me Anyway." It would appear on the surface to be a random tossing of styles against the wall but it isn't; everything is unified by Redmond's soulful approach to the music, which makes each song her own.

The band is great, the arrangements fine, the song selection fabulous and Redmond's singing is superb. What more can you ask for?

[ visit the artist's website ]

music review by
Michael Scott Cain

8 March 2014

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