Chesky Records 2000
More Christy Baron
Take This Journey
Image © 2000
(18 November 2000) The second jazz-oriented project by singer
and actress Christy Baron is entitled Steppin' (Chesky Records (USA)
JD201, 2000). Twelve tracks spanning slightly over 50 minutes focus on what
Baron calls "modern standards" or "new standards." As with all Chesky's
products, this is an audiophile recording incorporating their high resolution
'96/24' technology. Like the label's other projects, this album was recorded
live, this time over a three day stint in St Peter's Episcopal Church.
Chesky's technical production, compact disc pressing and overall packaging are
still the best.
One of the new standards is Christy's unique jazz interpretation
of Peter Gabriel's "Mercy Street" covered last year by
Miriam Stockley on her debut solo album.
An equally unique, world-beat style, interpretation of The Beatles' "Tomorrow
Never Knows," and string-based jazz interpretation of Prince's "Thieves In The
Temple" certain to appeal to a broad audience also adorn the stunning compact
disc. Baron's voice blends throatiness with crystal clear vocalisations to
produce a sound that is as evocative as it is sensual.
The bluesy texture and lounge sound of Christy's interpretation
of the Phil Collins' classic "This Must Be Love" is lovely. Alex Henderson
wrote, "Steppin' will come as a surprise to those whose introduction
to Baron was her recording debut of 1996, I Thoguht About You. While
that Cliff Korman-produced effort wasn't without R&B and pop elements and
found Baron interpreting The Beatles' "Got To Get You Into My Life,"
Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine" and Stevie Wonder's "Summer Soft," it
was acoustic-oriented and employed a basic piano trio."
"On Steppin' we wanted to do something different," says David
Chesky, "so I asked Didier Rachou to take a few chances and produce something
new." He is more contemporary in his approach, mixing jazz, world music
and cutting edge-electronica styles. And it's clearly evident in the
tracks "Is Love Enough," "Night and Day"—sung as a contrasting duet between
Christy Baron and Curtis King—and the album's signature track "Ain't No
Half-Steppin'." The dimensions of Chesky's production quality shines
in Christy's lovely interpretation of the Atlanta Rhythm Section's "Spooky."
We especially enjoyed Baron's performance of The Zombies'
"She's Not There." She puts a very funky, R&B spin on the song. Comments
Baron, "My interpretation of 'She's Not There' changes the whole perspective
of the song. When The Zombies recorded it, 'She's Not There' was done from
a guy's perspective. But my version is a woman telling a guy, 'Get it together,
she's not around, but I'm here. Get over it." The raw clarity of Christy's
voice is evident in "The Shadow Of Your Smile" with its especially light
jazz lounge accompaniment.
From the liner notes, Christy Baron comments, "If Miles Davis were
alive today, he'd be continuing to grow and challenge himself. He had to do his
own thing, which is why he was an inspiration to so many artists. It's important
for artists to express what they honestly feel—and with this album, I was able to
incorporate many of the styles that I love and use them to make a personal
We agree with LA Jazz Scene who insists Christy Baron is "a young
singer well worth keeping an eye on." Listen to soundbites, read further reviews
and order the album at amazon.com
A jazz-oriented album that blends sounds from pop, R&B, electronica and
world beat, this latest project from Christy Baron on Chesky Records is worth a
journey—indeed a very nice listen!