Saturday, March 2, 2013

Amy McConnell & William Sperandei 'Stealing Genius'

When I first landed a copy of Amy’s CD ‘Stealing Genius’ I had no idea she was the same little girl who used to walk this massive fur bearing dog on Helena Avenue back in the 80s – our wonderful neighborhood where son Jesse ‘Dubmatix’ and a multitude of kids all in or about the same age inhabited a corner of urban paradise where kids ran free.
As years pass I would hear through rumor of Amy’s work in film and directing but had no idea what an accomplished singer she had become.

Today, Amy dropped by The Ted Woloshyn Show Newstalk 1010  and what a delightful session this was. If Amy had been better known in 2012 she would be up for a Juno this season – that’s how good this debut is.
Sidekick trumpeter William Sperandei is my kind of player. William’s played on numerous 7 Arts productions for us – from Real Divas, to Saturday Nite Fish Fry, Sophie Berkal Sarbit to my Rhythm Express. William leaves his stamp with an exclamation mark! To have a Sperandei solo on any recording is to have something brilliant to savor for years.

Back to Amy - its the voice and delivery. With McConnell there is none of this – ‘She should have stuff ‘– she did it! Rich tone – lovely phrasing and note perfect pitch. More than anything Amy wraps her voice around a song with purpose, conviction and style.

 ‘Stealing Genius’ leads with a borrowed Ahmad Jamal rhythm from the 60s classic ‘Poinciana’ integrated with a sublime version of ‘Wild is the Wind.” Amy selected a righteous duet with pianist Michael Kaeshammer‘I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire,’ for a must play today. Another big win!
You’ll love the diverse range of composers she’s chosen – Tom Jones, George Harrison, Burt Bacharach, Edith Piaf, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, Jerry Wexler – ‘Candy?,’ - how many remember Big Maybelle’s version?

In short, if you are a patron of Canadian jazz go online and download – you’ll pinch yourself silly..

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