Russell - Sentimental Streak
World Village Music
Run Time: 47:05
Do you miss gals like Dinah Washington, Ella
Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Alberta Hunter, and Lena Horne? I know it’s
a large comparison to make and some pretty huge shoes to fill but
Catherine Russell comes pretty darn close to all these ladies.
Blending swing, jazz, ragtime, and blues, Russell’s voice is golden,
pure, and any other adjective you can add to compliment this young
lady from New York.
Her lineage is quite astounding and no
surprise. She’s the daughter of the famed Luis Russell who was Louis
Armstrong’s long time band leader and arranger. Her mother Carline
Ray, is a world-reknowned and superbly educated bassist. Catherine
herself has some accolades, too. She’s toured the world with some of
the big names in the music industry, including Paul Simon, David
Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne, Rosanne Cash, Steely Dan to
name a few. This her eponymous second release on the World Village
label is a pure delight in its sound quality and purity of origin.
Russell’s voice soars far and above a lot of ladies who label
themselves jazz singers these days. And when she wants to, she can
give you some heartfelt big band blues that almost makes you want to
Most of the source music comes from her father
that Catherine admits to in the liner notes that she really started
to discover a few years ago after Doc Cheatham’s passing in New
Orleans. You can’t really tell it, but it seems like she’s been
singing these songs for years. Try out the sassy and almost
sexually-explicit but not lyrics that she turns with force and
sultry power on Bessie Smith’s “Kitchen Man” or Alberta Hunter’s “My
Old Daddy’s Got A Brand New Way To Love.” Lena Horne’s “Thrill Me”
also flies above the accompaniment. The song that really soars above
and beyond for me is the jazzy-blues of the only original on the
disc from Russell’s own pen called “Luci.” Stretching out to 5:02,
it’s the longest track on the disc and gives the 4-piece band behind
her led by Brian Mitchell on piano and Larry Campbell on guitar to
space out and show us the improv that jazz fans know and love.
If you are a jazz fan or a fan of some
blues-influenced jazz, this disc is for you. If you are a pure music
fan, than this is one of the best chill out albums I’ve heard since
Norah Jones Come Away With Me from a few years back.
Russell’s a rising talent and is bound to jump into the spotlight
very soon. She’s a woman to be reckoned with and should be on any
music fan’s radar. The CD is available from
major music outlets.
Reviewer Ben Cox is a Blues Songwriter, Musician, DJ and Journalist.