In Love Again
McVouty Records - MCVCD6245
In Love Again
All Too Soon
Hide & Seek
Ask Me Now [mp3]
So It Goes Again
It Never Entered My Mind [mp3]
$15.00 (FREE S&H)
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Becca Duran (vocal); Jay Thomas (trumpet, flugelhorn, flute & sax); Larry Fuller (piano); John Hansen (piano); Craig Hoyer (piano & keyboard); John Bishop (drums); Andy Roth (drums); Doug Miller (bass); Brian Kennedy (bass); John Boucher (percussion); Denny Goodhew (bariton sax); Bill Ramsay (alto sax)
"Superior songs like Ellington's All Too Soon, Monk's Ask Me Now and Rodgers and Hart's It Never Entered My Mind are perfect vehicles for Ms. Duran."
Doug Ramsey, Jazz Times . . . more ›
"Becca Duran definitely has got the goods. Her voice is pliant and quite lovely."
Myrna Daniels, L.A. Jazz Scene . . . more ›
"And I love Becca's voice. In English, French or Portuguese she offers a round, silky, unfettered sound...."
Taina Honkalehto, Earshot Jazz . . . more ›
"Here's a fresh new talent you're going to love! Becca Duran, singing here with the Jay Thomas Group, is the sort of discovery you can't wait to share with friends. Here is a clear, articulate voice that communicates lyrics as if they're her own, and in many cases they are!"
Jim Wilke, Jazz After Hours, Public Radio International . . . more ›
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"In Love Again" REVIEWS
By Doug Ramsey, Jazz Times
Becca Duran's single vocal on Easy Does It (Discovery DSCD 956), Jay Thomas' sleeper album of a couple years ago, suggested a talent that deserved more exposure.Given a full hearing on Hide and Seek, she sustains interest in a recital of well more than an hour.
Ms. Duran and Thomas are impressive, as are several of their sidemen, who are also from Seattle, a jazz center of growing importance. The singer's control, phrasing and intonation are good, and she is convincing in her interpretations. She is persuasive not only in English, but in Spanish and French and, as far as I can tell, in Portuguese.
Superior songs like Ellington's All Too Soon, Monk's Ask Me Now and Rodgers and Hart's It Never Entered My Mind are perfect vehicles for Ms. Duran. Her womanliness and musicality carry even a novelty number like Lolito, the fanciful story of a performing parrot, and she is a flawless partner of Thomas' flute in the wordless unison melody of Jobim's Antigua.
Enormous fusses are being made over budding talents promoted by major labels while a "new" player of Thomas' maturity and achievement gets little attention. On trumpet, Thomas' lyricism and harmonic inventions make him one of today's most interesting soloists on the instrument. His soprano saxophone and flute work on this album commands attention. On his own CD he played tenor saxophone with imagination, taste and an attractive tone. Thomas' arrangements (others are by Jack Perciful and James Knapp) and his balanced production of Becca Duran's album indicate a creative, rounded musician. The combined talents of Thomas and Ms. Duran, a singer to watch, make this a compact disc worth finding.
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By Myrna Daniels, L.A. Jazz Scene - November 1991
Better known in the Seattle area, Becca Duran brings a freshness to the jazz idiom and has strong backing with the Jay Thomas Group. She and Thomas have written some of the tunes here and it provides a good over-view of her style as a singer. In Love Again get things started in an easy groove, with great trumpet work by Thomas. Pianist Larry Fuller, bassist Doug Miller and drummer John Bishop ably back up Duran Her voice is coolish, reminding me somewhat of Joanie Sommers and June Christy. All Too Soon is another ballad, is an excellent chart, and Duran shows complete mastery of the lyrical intent. Thomas' harmon mute solo is delicious.
Hide and Seek (written by Duran and Thomas), features nice lyrics and a lush piano solo by Craig Hoyer and restrained drumming by Bishop. Ask Me Now (How I Wish) by Thelonious Monk is surprising because Monk's tunes are seldom sung (except of Course, 'Round Midnight). Fuller stays true to Monk's spirit at the piano. Duran's straight forward approach sounds fresh and assertive.
The humorous Lolito gives Duran an opportunity to have fun and she gives it a very sassy reading. Her voice is not as effective on Carousel Ride as she seems to have trouble negotiating some of the low notes. Djavan's Apple is a swinging little number, which Duran sings in Portuguese. Roving Eye is a witty tune about the temptations between the sexes. Duran recites the lyrics to L'Africains, (complete with animal sound effects), then she sings the lyrics in French, I enjoyed this one a lot.
Becca Duran definitely has got the goods. Her voice is pliant and quite lovely. She handles the material well, probably because she co-wrote much of it. Her backing musicians are all excellent; also on the CD John Hansen- piano, Brian Kennedy-bass, Andy Roth-drums, Denny Goodhew-bari sax,Bill Ramsay-alto sax. Jay Thomas is very versatile, playing trumpet, sax and flute and the CD strongly reflects his personality also.
It is a pleasure to hear new material, besides the usual standards. Duran has assembled a top-notch showcase for her talent.
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By Taina Honkalehto, Earshot Jazz
Seattle vocalist Becca Duran, collaborating with horn and reed player/arranger Jay Thomas, has created an arresting and appealing debut CD. As its name Hide and Seek implies, this album's blend of original and familiar tunes alternately teases and satisfies the ear. And I love Becca's voice. In English, French or Portuguese she offers a round, silky, unfettered sound that dissolves into perfect vibrato at the ends of her phrases.
Each tune has its raison d'etre. The CD's opener, In Love Again, by Canadian pianist Bernie Senensky, arranged by Jim Knapp, is one of my favorites. Becca lingers on the opening lyrics then swings along with the rhythm section- in this case, John Bishop on drums, Doug Miller and Larry Fuller on piano- amidst Jay Thomas' and Bill Ramsay's clear trumpet-sax conversations. In Ellington's All Too Soon, Jack Perciful's delicate arrangement allows Becca's emotion to lead the phrasing. Each time I listen to the title track I discover new shades of its unusual chromatic palette. The newness is refreshing and mixes easily with the mastery of a Monk tune (Ask Me Now) or the Caribbean breezes of Jobim (Antigua).
The ensemble playing is top-notch throughout and blends well with Becca's vocals. She has a wonderful sense of when to sing and when to lay out, leaving the listener room to appreciate the richness of different players and the work of several arrangers. My early years of piano-playing attract my ear as well to the lovely duets between Becca and pianist Craig Hoyer. The pace of Rodgers and Hart's It Never Entered My Mind seems just right.
Duran told me during a recent interview that an ideological tussle over the album's purpose arose during its conception. Was it to be safe and marketable or an expression of the collaborator's personalities and senses of musical judgement? Happily, integrity won. Judging by response and the attentive enjoyment of friends I've exposed to Hide and Seek, Becca Duran's and Jay Thomas' musical risks and choices suit the jazz aficionado as well.
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"In Love Again" Liner Notes
By Jim Wilke, Jazz After Hours, Public Radio International
Here's a fresh new talent you're going to love! Becca Duran, singing here with the Jay Thomas Group, is the sort of discovery you can't wait to share with friends. Here is a clear, articulate voice that communicates lyrics as if they're her own, and in many cases they are! Becca Duran was born in Los Angeles. Both of her parents are bilingual which account for her ease of various languages. As a kid, she grew up improvising vocal harmony with her sisters, and early on demonstrated great memory for songs, coming out of movies with the music memorized. She demonstrated a remarkable ear from that early age, and it serves her well today with her frequently surprising approach to vocal lines.
Her university studies in literature and languages led her to an early career as head of the Hispanic Education Office in Washington State, and then Director of Musical Arts and Education for the state.
Although successful as an administrator, it didn't satisfy her passion to sing. After long consideration, she decided to take the plunge. Never the cautious type, she met the challenge head on, and after a few lean years studying and rehearsing she emerged as a full-time professional singer. She hasn't looked back since. She and Jay have toured Western United States and Canada, Hawaii and Japan, delighting audiences wherever they play. Now you have her debut album in hand. . . a great variety of songs, most of them originals. Five of the originals are by Jay Thomas and Becca Duran, and Becca wrote the lyrics to three more, two by Canadian pianist/composer Bernie Senensky, and one by Richie Beirach. Along the way there are classics by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and Rodgers & Hart, as well as Brazilian songs by Jobim and Djavan making up this extremely rich and varied program. Adding to the treats are warm and sparkling arrangements by Jay Thomas, James Knapp, and Jack Perciful. You'll find your own favorites, I'm sure. I find Roving Eye a very attractive composition, the kind you'll soon find yourself singing. Richie Beirach's Leaving (Saliendo) is a haunting song, dedicated to the families of the disappeared (los desaparecidos) the victims of political and military oppression in Latin America. James Knapp's arrangements of that song and Bernie Senensky's In Love Again are both highlights of this collection. And who could resist the Carousel Ride, or Lolito? Hide & Seek is a coy, playful song about games and play. If it's the exotic you crave, experience L'Africaine. . . Becca gives us the English text before singing her own lyrics in French. It 's a poetic image of the strength, pride and inner conviction of African women, but its theme is universal. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Each one of these songs is a gem for its own reasons. One listen and I think you'll be a fan of Becca Duran too!