I really enjoyed talking to Tricity Vogue when I interviewed her on this blog, so was thrilled when I saw she had an album out - The Blue Lady Sings
Tricity is a uke player, jazz singer and performer in her famous Ukulele Cabaret - so does this CD bring you a taste of her show? Read on.
This album is decidedly a jazzy album - easy cabaret jazz style, but that isn't to say it's a one trick pony - there are a few surprises in there too! This was pretty much all recorded live in the studio to give the cabaret feel, and the tracks accompanied her Edinburgh Fringe show of the same name.
The album opens with a trio of very tongue in cheek tracks, including the saucy Big Band Blues featuring Tricity on uke to start with which then builds to the big band sound of the title. The Blue Lady Blues continues in the same vain with delightfully cheeky lyrics and wonderful jazz guitar backing. The opening salvo completes with the duet with Dusty Limits, Everybody Today Is Turning On - a wonderful ditty in the traditional jazz style based on, of all things, drug use. All backed by ukulele.
Things take a more serious turn with the Brian Grillo penned Sometimes I Wish I Had A Gun, delivered in a wonderful smoky style by Tricity and her backing band.
Then out of nowhere comes an inspired and interesting cover of the Kelis track, Milkshake, played on the uke and reminiscent of the likes of Bessie Smith - complete with vinyl crackles over the sound. I love the mix of this old sound with such a daft pop song and Tricity carries it of with aplomb!
One of the standout tracks on the album for me follows in Tricity's cover of the Mel Torme track Born To Be Blue - a beautiful vocal line showing just how good a singer Tricity is - a track to sink back into an armchair with and relax. Quite delightful.
We follow with the Roberts / Fisher song from the film Gilda, and as sung by Rita Hayworth - Put The Blame On Mame telling the story of the alleged cause of various American tragedies, including the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and the San Francisco Earthquake.
In the jazz album tradition, the album is a mix of covers and some originals written by Tricity herself, but the next cover is the standout for me - Say Hello Wave Goodbye by Soft Cell. We start with a simple vocal over a background of ukulele before the track builds with the inclusion of Cello to finish with a great echoey crescendo. I loved this track.
Pussycat Paws follows, another Tricity original and is a jazzy, sassy number oozing with sauce and a great groovy backing - if you like your later Blue Note groovier jazz tracks you will love this.
The next track, Choli Ke Peeche comes out of the blue and is a seriously accomplished piece for a jazz singer to take on. Its a Hindi track from one of Indias biggest thrillers - Khal Nayak. Tricity sings in Hindi the band put in a sterling performance to create an Indian feel to the backing music. I really like this track and brings something very different to proceedings.
The album ends with an upbeat version of Bare Necessities from the Jungle Book - and why not - a great track and try singing along to that without smiling, and then the other stand out track in my opinion, the Tricity original Table For Two - her take on this makes me think of Julie London - just delightful.
So there you have it - I think you can see that I like it, but perhaps that is understandable because I am a huge fan of this sort of music. But , will you like it? Well it's included here because there is liberal use of the ukulele, so that's one thing! I found the album quite split in styles and I suppose that some might like one half more than the other, perhaps some will like the quirkier tunes better, some the more serious jazz numbers. But then, that's the point I think - I have not been lucky enough to see Tricity Vogues ukulele cabaret myself, but I suspect what she was trying to achieve here was to give a home listening experience that takes you to one of her shows. If that was the aim, it's worked very well.
1 Big Band Blues
2 The Blue Lady Sings
3 Everybody Today Is Turning On
4 Sometimes I Wish I Had A Gun
6 Born To Be Blue
7 Put The Blame On Mame
8 Say Hello Wave Goodbye
9 Pussycat Paws
10 Choli Ke Peeche
11 Bare Necessities
12 Table For Two
The album is available from her website, but also on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify