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JaRon Eames literally came down to Earth to start his vocal career. He
was employed by Japan Airlines and quit in 1977 to start his career as an
entertainer. His objective was to revive the salon singer (the male counterpart
to cabaret) style of entertainment. He has worked with Barry Harris, Dorothy
Donegan, and a host of other prestigious jazz personalities. Sounds Good to Me!
is the singer's second album, with a play list of 11 tunes designed to show his
versatility. They also show his very supple and flexible set of vocal chords as
he warbles and trills soul, the blues, funky R&B, and high-steppin' swing tunes.
Eames sounds like Lou Rawls, if Rawls worked in a higher register. He also uses
a slight vibrato to very good advantage on tunes such as "Guilty" and "Doggin
MS. NANCY WILSON:
"THE CD IS EXCELLENT!!"
MS. DAKOTA STATON:
"JARON IS A VERY VERSATILE SINGER WHO REALLY SWINGS, AND THE BAND IS SUPERB!!!"
LITTLE JIMMY SCOTT:
"NOT ONLY DO I LISTEN TO IT OFTEN, I USE IT TO STUDY PHRASING...!!"
STAN MEYERS-WBGO RADIO:
"JARON HAS PAID HIS DUES AND HE IS READY FOR FURTHER EXPOSURE. HE DEMONSTRATES A
COMMAND OF BALLADS AS WELL AS BLUES AND UPBEAT. FIND RHYTHM BACKING COMPLETES
The kick-off tune brings funk to the fore buttressed by Michael
Weisberger's Hal Singer-like tenor, which provides the rhythm to Eames' blues.
In contrast, Weisberger's sax uses dulcet tones behind Eames' emotional version
of "My One and Only Love." Eames appears to come from the same school as singers
and groups like Johnny Ray and the Platters, who felt that no one would take
them seriously unless they brought a sense of desperation to their voice.
can swing as well as emote, as on "Shake, Rattle and Roll" and a
faster-than-the-speed-of-light "Them There Eyes," where he unpacks his scatting
and other wordless vocalizing apparatus. Matters get downright earthy with "I
Want a Little Girl."
Pianist Amy Quint, who hung in there throughout the session
and provided excellent support for the singer, gets to show off a minimalist
approach to the piano with some solo time. And Weisberger is still wailing away
on the sax (this time the alto). A highlight track is the fervent rendering of
Sam Cooke's gospel-oriented "A Change Is Gonna Come." This is a
happy combination of intense, passionate singing with swinging and some fun
thrown in to lighten things up. Eames obviously enjoys what he's doing, and
judging from this album, is a vocal force to be reckoned with. Recommended.
- All Music Guide
JaRon Eames is gaining a degree of recognition lately among the late-night TV
crowd on the island known as Manhattan. That's because his jazz interview show,
The JaRon Eames Show, is televised on community Channel 34. Featuring interviews
with legends like Oscar Peterson, Nancy Wilson, Jimmy Scott and Randy Weston,
the real star of the show is Eames himself. With unflagging curiosity, he probes
his guests for nuggets of information, and surprisingly, they provide such
nuggets! The most interesting feature of the show, as one studies the faces of
his famous guests, is their ease in talking to him.
Since his profile is rising, it may be useful to review Eames last CD from 1996,
Sounds Good To Me! The revelation of the CD is the fact that the style of Eames
seems to arise from the influences of the vocalists he invites onto his show.
Indeed, by referring to the well-known styles of Jimmy Scott, Nancy Wilson or
Dakota Staton, Eames has developed his own niche as a
get-out-of-your-seat-and-dance practitioner of a style that blends R&B with
jazz. That's why Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come" fits in with the
repertoire of the remaining tunes like "Save Your Love For Me" or "Them There
Infusing a bluesy feel into all of the tunes, no matter how he approaches them,
Eames can go from the blues shouter on "Stormy Monday" to the rapid-fire
articulation and scat of "Them There Eyes." Even in the midst of the
machine-gunning of words, Eames twists the phrasing to swoop or dip or prod so
that the performance becomes an energetic elucidation of the theme instead of a
Eames combines his good nature with musical story-telling on Louis Jordan's
"Pettin' And Pokin'," wherein he rediscovers the timeless ability of Jordan's
jump to entertain listeners with wordplay and infectious arrangements. "Shake
Rattle & Roll" bypasses the rock-n-roll evolution of the tune to remind the
listener of the tune's roots in the blues, akin to the realization of the true
meaning of the words to "Ain't Nothin' But A Hound Dog," as sung by Big Mama
Thornton. Similarly, "Route 66" follows seamlessly from the slow Memphis blues
feel of "Stormy Monday" rather than taking the finger-snapping route that the
song has assumed over the years.
"Doggin' Around," which has become Eames' de facto theme song, encapsulates the
strengths of his music: blues from an R&B perspective that merges with jazz, the
barroom type of singing that draws in the listeners and excites the crowds, the
use of his voice to emphasize the dramatic essence of a tune (in this case, the
crying elongation of the significant word following "Stop!"), the compelling
narrative, and a universal theme (such as cheating).
As jokingly serious musicians like Louis Jordan, irresistible jazz/R&B singers
like Jimmy Scott, the compelling blues shouters like Big Joe Turner or master
jazz vocalists like Joe Williams have passed on, we are fortunate that committed
entertainers like JaRon Eames are carrying on the tradition.
All About Jazz
JaRon Eames at Shutters Supper Club
This band had JaRon Eames on vocals, Gene Gee on tenor sax,
Amy Quint Mignon on
piano, Bob Cunningham on bass, and Walter Perkins on drums. Originally from New
Orleans, JaRon Eames is a blues and Jazz singer who also hosts a weekly cable TV
show in Manhattan. He started off the evening at Shutters with a blues medley.
"Drink Muddy Water" and "Everyday I Have the Blues" were several of the
selections. He had a swinging backup band and rhythm section that looked as good
as they played. Amy, Bob, Walter and Gene wore tuxes, while JaRon wore a white
Next was Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek." The piece was well arranged, with
everyone reading parts. JaRon brings out a positive groove, he's a skillful
entertainer. There was a mixed crowd and a nice atmosphere at the club. After
"Cheek to Cheek," they did "Ain't Misbehavin'." JaRon was scatting in between
his phrases, using dynamics. Gene's sax solo was smooth and swinging, and Amy,
the pianist showed off her chops to good advantage.
"You're Not the Kind of a Girl for a Boy Like Me" is a worthy song, made famous
by Sassy, and JaRon sang it with a good deal of feeling. The sax had some nice
scales and riffs, but he wasn't as strong here as on the blues.
More blues put the entire band in its element. JaRon let them have it with
"Stormy Monday," While the drummer banged away in triplets and the bassist kept
a simple 4/4 walk. Bob took several choruses on bass, bowing with perfect
intonation. A big surprise was Walter's drum solo. Holding the ride cymbal with
one hand, he played a melody on it with one stick! I've never seen anything like
it, one little eighth note at a time. The pianist got into it during her solo
with tremolos and two-handed runs in double octaves.
The group was recording a CD at this occasion, and I was glad to be a part of
that process. I had a chance to speak to Walter Perkins in between sets. The
drummer really knows his music.
He's worked with a lot of musicians, among them
Ahmad Jamal, Carmen McRae, Jim Hall, Art Farmer, Charles Mingus. I asked about his style of
supporting the soloists with his driving swing. He answered, "I don't want to
get in anybody's way, I just want to have some fun. Music, to me, is a matter of
warmth. It doesn't matter who I'm playing with, as long as it's a team, with all
of us playing together. It's like having a million dollars in your pocket when
everybody's playing together and people are enjoying it. Ain't no one trying to
outdo no one."
I asked Walter about the solo he did with one cymbal. He said, "I
did that on a couple of albums, one with Art Farmer and Jim Hall, the other Al
Cohn and Zoot Sims. They were beautiful to work with. If I can help somebody in
some way through my music, that's the secret to a long life."
New York vocalist JaRon Eames phrases expertly, swings righteously, and warbles
dynamically on this compelling independently- produced debut album of 11
jazz-blues classics by Louis Jordan, Jerome Kern, T. Bone Walker, Buddy Johnson
and others. In any tempo, Eames demonstrates commendable mid-range vocal control
and precise sense of time. Amy Quint (piano), Akira Ando (bass),
Walter Perkins (drums), Ethan Mann (guitar), and Michael Weisberger
(tenor & alto saxes)
provide fine solos and superb rhythm backing for Eames to sing his bluesy heart
Nancy Ann Lee
Finally we come to JaRon Eames who gets this thing right. Eames' bag, as
demonstrated on his last CD is to sing relaxed, Jazzy versions of old rhythm and
blues classics. This time he delves into the repertoires of Sam Cooke, Jackie
Wilson, Big Joe Turner and Louis Jordan and comes out a winner each time. Eames
has a high tenor voice close to Clyde McPhatter's and he uses it well, massaging
their old songs at slow, strutting tempos. Most of the arrangements are true to
the R'n'B big beat ideal, through "Shake Rattle and Roll" has its beat smoothed
over. A couple of standards are also added to the mix. "The Song Is You" is
taken at a blistering tempo and "Guilty" is done in a mannered torch style. As
for the musicians, Amy Quint plays good hard-charging piano throughout and
Mann plays breezy single string blues guitar solos like T-Bone Walker. Eames has
settled into a unique and attractive style. Hopefully he'll find an audience for
The play list includes songs from Louis Jordan, T-Bone Walker, and Sam Cooke, but
it's the endorsement from jazz chanteuse Dakota Staton that gives away the basic
feeling of JaRon Eames' latest disc. With a vocal style that brings to mind both
Al Jarreau and George Benson, Eames delivers his material in a polished "lounge"
style with smooth jazz arrangements. Sounds Good To Me should please fans of the
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Data pubblicazione: 30/11/2001