Featuring the late, great pianist Mulgrew Miller, this terrific 15-track Best Of collection from vocalist Trudy Kerr kicks off brilliantly with Glad to Be Unhappy from her 2000 album Day Dream. There’s a fine brace of tracks from Kerr’s homage to Chet Baker, My Old Flame, the first a swinging interpretation of Tea for Two, the second an understated take on Makin’ Whoopee.
Taken from her 2005 album, Cloudburst, Moment’s Notice sees Kerr at her most virtuosic, navigating the twists and turns of the Coltrane classic with her own newly penned lyrics.
Other standouts include They Say it’s Wonderful from Deja Vu, with Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren and the Juno String Quartet, two great originals from the pen of Kerr and her husband Geoff Gascoyne, Poppies and Save Me (both from The Rhythm of Life), plus a beautiful version of In a Sentimental Mood featuring another sadly departed pianist and composer, Michael Garrick, with which this hugely enjoyable collection signs off.
Peter Quinn, Jazzwise
**** A delightful collection between singers Trudy Kerr and Ingrid James with both singers demonstrating not only near telepathic sense of vocal interplay but also adroit interpretive skills.
Charles Waring, Record Collector, Nov 2010
This beautifully-judged collaboration finds Trudy Kerr sharing the limelight with pianist and composer Michael Garrick to splendid effect.
Andrew Vine, Yorkshire Post
Jazzizit Records JITCD0746. Following her terrific vocalese album Cloudburst released in 2005, Trudy Kerr's latest Déjà vu offers something extremely tasty for every discerning musical palate. From Jan Lundgren's opening piano riff on 'Out of this World' to the beautiful closing track 'You go to my head' the collection of songs associated with the singer's past provides a feast for the ear.
The title track is the perfect showcase for the singer's fluid phrasing and mellifluous tone and coupled with Gascoyne's imaginative and colourful arrangement, is an absolute standout. The singer's newly penned lyrics to Dave Holland's 'Dream of the Elders' will doubtless get many singers excited about the new addition to the vocal jazz repertoire. Special guest Bob Dorough also joins the singer for a joyously playful duet on his tricky original 'Up Jumped a Bird'.
Peter Quinn, Jazzwise Magazine
Jazz For Juniors
If it's true that the audience for jazz is getting older, singer Kerr has an ingenious solution - a sing-along jazz album for kids, creating a new hip generation. The music - cute standards like The Doodlin' Song, Swingin'on a Star and Happy Talk - is utterly joyful. There are kids singing too,but they swing.
Mojo Magazine, Feb 2007
Something of a miniature epiphany this. A vocal album sufficiently musicianly, substantial and in the instrumental tradition that it could equally well be filed under mainstream. Think vocal jazz automatically equals jazz-lite? Think again.
Cloudburst is London-based Australian Kerr's fifth album and follows her fine '02 homage to Chet Baker, My Old Flame. This time she puts the Great American Songbook aside and offers fourteen hardcore jazz instrumentals, to which lyrics and/or vocalese have later been added, either by her or by earlier writers. The original composers are Coltrane, Mingus, Monk, Clifford Brown, Gerry Mulligan, Horace Silver, Mal Waldron, Tadd Dameron, Bill Evans, Lerov Kirkland & Jimmy Harris, Duke Pearson, Antonio Jobim, Ennio Morricone, and Freddie Hubbard. To say Kerr does justice to these guys-which she does-is really to say something. The arrangements are unfussy, and wholly unsweetened, and Kerr's warm and sensuous voice, particularly effective in the midrange, delivers straightforward and engaging readings.
Key to the album's success is Kerr's band, a half dozen of London's finest, who're given plenty of space in which to stretch out and improvise. So, a vocal album for people who don't usually like vocal albums. Kerr is 100% real jazz musician, and Cloudburst is 100% real jazz. Things are looking up.
Chris May, www.allaboutjazz.com
My Old Flame
But the effort pays off, if its' an artistic result you're looking for. Kerr's fourth album, My Old Flame, based around songs and music associated with Chet Baker, is as 'musicianly' as any purely instrumental set. She's taken enormous trouble over the material, recasting Gerry Mulligan arrangements, turning a solo into superb vocalese in 'Bernie's Tune' duetting with an avuncular Georgie Fame on two numbers, and generally standing tall on what would be a demanding project for the most experienced of singers. If it's taken a dozen years of British work to get to this point, you have to feel it's time well spent.
Richard Cook, Jazz Journal, June 2002 (Extract from interview)
This is the third album by Australian vocalist Trudy Kerr, and it offers conclusive proof that she's one of the best of the younger crop of jazz singers. She's blessed with a big powerful voice, she swings hard and she's constantly inventive, reshaping her material for maximum effect. Here, she takes on a collection of superior standards and finds something new to say on all of them. Highlights abound, but the standout track is a terrific reading of The Masquerade is Over that is filled with passion. Kerr is hardly less good on Mad About the Boy, in which she breaks up the melodic line to produce a jagged, unsettling effect.The session gets a considerable boost from the presence of the great American pianist, Mulgrew Miller, who offers the sort of support about which singers dream about. An excellent album.
Andrew Vine, Yorkshire Post, 22 November 2000
Trudy Kerr's warm voice and wide range come over on this brilliantly programmed set. From smouldering Julie London style Ballads to wild swingers, she handles the constantly changing moods with impressive ease.
Dave Gelly, The Observer, April 1999
Trudy Kerr is outstanding - imaginative but respectful to the original song, with excellent phrasing and diction and a smile in her voice.
Dave Gelly, The Observer, Dec 1997