Greta Matassa

All This And Heaven Too

origin 82393

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Jason West, JazzSteps

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Greta Matassa packs the energy, embellishment and awe of a gospel choir into her voice, wedding the secular and spiritual to invariably produce roof-raising performances. A spontaneous singer who is not afraid to challenge herself, Greta takes a lot of risks with her voice and sometimes these risks get her into trouble on this live recording, where, unlike a studio session, second chances are not an option. On "Why Try to Change Me Now/Crazy He Calls Me" and "Come Rain or Come Shine," both ballads, she is overanxious and, as a result, sings too much. The effect is like decorating a Christmas tree with too many ornaments. But jazz fans tend to be a liberal bunch who welcome risk in their music, and even encourage it. And Greta's passion for improvisation pays dividends. On "All This and Heaven Too" she takes off like a racehorse, scatting her heart out with articulation and finesse. The up-tempo vocals-Greta's strength-continue on "Blue Prelude" and "I Never had a Chance/I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance." Her chameleon-like voice changes from full and deep, to throaty and harsh, to soft and bright, circling blue notes with the agility of a saxophonist, mixing guttural scrapes with falsetto shrieks, often in the coarse of a single song. Her version of "Ruby" is an extraordinarily poignant portrait, tastefully accompanied by Susan Pascal on vibes, Randy Halberstad on piano, Clipper Anderson on bass, and Mark Ivester at the drums.






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