James Taylor’s music always reminds me of another guitar playing singer-songwriter, Jackson Browne. Both were born in 1948 and have a gift for writing lyrics that force you to slow down and listen.
A romantic comedy, definitely something that tugs at the heartstrings, like Roxanne, Four Weddings and a Funeral, or Enough Said.
Groove Note is a small boutique record label run by Ying Tan of Singapore and Los Angeles. He started out selling records off a mailing list, then became one of the founders of Classic Records before branching out on his own. Tan formed two record labels—Original Recordings Group, a reissue mark, and Groove Note, which releases original jazz, blues, and vocal music.
While not a big name in the U.S., Jacintha Abisheganaden remains well known in Singapore. She began as an arts journalist before becoming a recording artist and theater actress. Fire & Rain is her sixth LP release for Groove Note, with the relationship dating back to 1998’s Here’s to Ben—A Vocal Tribute to Ben Webster. The record’s title gives away the album’s function as a James Taylor tribute. Jacintha sings 11 of Taylor’s “greatest hits” backed by a stellar lineup of Los Angeles studio musicians (two guitars, bass, keyboards, drums, and violin). She possesses a gorgeous voice and enjoys the advantage of top-notch arrangements.
Performances aside, the exceptionally well-recorded Fire & Rain stands out because of its outstanding sound. Compare this 45 RPM set to most any other album on vinylreviews.com with a sound rating of five and add another point—the sonics are literally off-the-charts good. It was recorded at the Henson Recording Studio, the former A & M Studios in Los Angeles where Joni Mitchell recorded Blue. Yet Fire & Rain far exceeds the recording quality of Mitchell’s iconic record—and, I’d venture to say, surpasses the sonics of any recording of a female vocalist not issued by Groove Note. Take that, Diana Krall.
Last chance to change your mind...