Scanning the Countryside: Country—and All That Jazz

February 16th, 2011 – Barry Mazor


...Countrypolitan Duets CD from the skilled, smart, clean Nashville jazz vocalist Anna Wilson and a few of her “friends,” who happen to include Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts and Billy Dean, as well as such veteran country hands as the previously-mentioned Mr. Price, steel guitar great Lloyd Green, Kenny Rogers, and the inimitable Connie Smith. These are smooth, fluid, unmistakably jazz-based takes, sometimes with a full, hot horn section, alternately stinging and moody guitar, pace-setting piano, and choral group back-up, on country standards from “You Don’t Know Me” and “Walkin’ After Midnight” to “Cherokee Maiden” and “For the Good Times.”

Anna Wilson & Connie SmithI promise you that Connie and Anna’s swinging turn on Ms. Smith’s 1972 hit “Just For What I Am” will grab you, take you to school on what the jazz touch can bring to a country tune and sentiment, and remind you all over again what an extraordinary on-point, vocalist Ms. Smith has always been, with immaculate diction and control that transcends genre. (For all of her predilection for traditional country, Connie’s also expressed her admiration for such singers as Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson.)

Country —And All That Jazz!

February 14th, 2011

Read Review - by Barry Mazor

There have always been some who see country music and jazz as opposite ends of the American music spectrum—one down home, emotionally straightforward and inclined towards the well-understood and safe; the other urban, sophisticated, even intellectual, and born to go off on unfettered, exploratory tangents. You could, of course, hear that opposition expressed by fans of either sort of music to describe why they’ll have nothing to do with the other. The often beautiful truth, though, is that these two largely domestic products have been bumping into each other and datingseriously, if not going steady, ever since both became more defined commercial styles in the 1920s.

Wilson Lets Loose Countrypolitan Style

February 8th, 2011

Read Full Review

Story by Linda East Brady

If you miss the Music City era that flourished in the years between the honky-tonk '50s and the raw and rugged outlaw country that flowered when the longhairs fled Tennessee for Texas in the '70s, this album is right up your alley. Fans of sophisticated women jazz vocalists, à la Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan, should also enjoy this album.


February 4th, 2011

ALL MUSIC GUIDE – Will Ruhlmann – February 4, 2011

It would be easy to envision the duet with Urban on Danny O'Keefe's "Goodtime Charlie's Got the Blues" actually becoming a country hit, which the song never quite has done previously, despite several minor country chart placings. On the whole, however, the album is a pleasant throwback to earlier styles of pop, country, and jazz.