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BWW CD Review: MONICA RAMEY AND THE BEEGIE ADAIR TRIO Keeps It Honest And Makes It Perfect

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It's classic and that's enough.

BWW CD Review: MONICA RAMEY AND THE BEEGIE ADAIR TRIO Keeps It Honest And Makes It Perfect

Monica Ramey is a truly selfless performer. Anyone who has seen her live will tell you that she is as beautiful, as engaging, as entertaining as any woman who has stood at a microphone and presented an audience with a stunning and stirring performance of a great song. Indeed, her personality, intelligence and looks might actually prove to be a bit distracting during a live show, causing one to miss something that is powerfully evident on a Monica Ramey CD, like the (practically) eponymous MONICA RAMEY AND THE BEEGIE ADAIR TRIO: Ms. Ramey has come to serve. With every recording on this fourteen track, seventy two minute album (an embarrassment of riches) it becomes abundantly apparent that Monica Ramey's artistic goal is to provide the songwriters (composer and lyricist), the songs, and the musicians supporting her exquisite voice with an infallible representation of their work. Ramey is, in fact, like a Baccarat goblet, a vessel carrying to each person who hears her a pure and perfect vintage wine. That doesn't mean that there isn't a Ramey style, because Monica has a definite sound to her work, one based on absolute confidence, impassioned joy, and a total reverence for the music.

The music on this CD is one surefire way of brightening your mood, and your day - this is joy and pleasure in its truest state, much like the music: pure. Even on the most frustrating and tiresome of days one could, with ease, come home and have their bad humor lifted by this CD; imagine, then, what playing the album would be like on a good day, or a great day. With a song list that includes a wide range of respected, indeed treasured, standards from The Great American Songbook, Beegie Adair leads all the artists straight into each composition, where they completely immerse themselves in this musical moment, before moving on to the next moment, the happy byproduct being that we all get to hear what came out of those moments. It's an elegant, a sophisticated, but also a natural and human approach to the creation of something that will stand the test of time, just as songs like "Witchcraft" and "It Amazes Me" have, and always will. This recording is what happens when artists trust the material with which they are working, like an actor and their text, or a dancer with their choreography. There is no need for embellishment here, only skilled proficients bringing their mastery to classic compositions in the exact way their audience wants to hear them.

Reading the track list for the album, one might wonder where is the joy in some of these ballads? Sure, a person could sit back and enjoy the well-executed "I'll Close My Eyes" or the superb "Why Did I Choose You" but where, in a slow, emotional ballad like these does one find the happiness? The elation is in the perfection. Originating with the composers placement of each note and the poets construction of the sentences and stanzas and coming full circle in the precision of each musician's phrasing, from bandleader Adair to songstress Ramey. There is beauty in reverent craftsmanship, and whether the listener is jiving to one of the jaunty up-tempos or relaxing to a slow serenade, there is no getting around the feeling of satisfaction provided by the album.

BWW CD Review: MONICA RAMEY AND THE BEEGIE ADAIR TRIO Keeps It Honest And Makes It PerfectOne of the unquestionable greats in the field, Beegie Adair proves her worth every time she sits down at a piano, whether in concert or in the studio, and though her trio takes second billing to Monica Ramey, it does not diminish the importance of their presence on the album. Everyone's art is on display here. With Roger Spencer on Bass and Chris Brown on drums, the musical undercurrent upon which Ramey's voice floats is as good as it can get; the addition (on certain songs) of guest artists George Tidwell (trumpet and flugelhorn) and Denis Solee (saxophone and flute) only serves to make the listening experience so much the better, as all five musicians successfully collaborate in their unity, yet place each other in the spotlight in song treatments so skillfully arranged that solos bubble to the surface and surprise you, before returning you to Ms. Ramey's oh-so-perfect vocals. The songs may be a little old, but this is far from nostalgia - this is a group of today's musicians playing music anybody can enjoy, in this moment in our lives. This is a recording that, thankfully, won't go out of style; it will remain relevant and enjoyable every day, making happy your mood for many years to come.

Monica Ramey And The Beegie Adair Trio is a 2013 release on the independent label Adair Music Group. It is available on Amazon, Apple Music, Spotify YouTube Music and Deezer



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From This Author Stephen Mosher