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Afraid of the Heights by Leonisa Ardizzone Quartet

Leonisa Ardizzone is the Ted Weems of modern jazz. But she doesn't lie on a couch and whistle which everyone thought Weems did. She swings and sways but not like Sammy Kaye. She swings on Parker, Mingus and Gillespie and Coots. She's not really "Afraid of the Heights" - in this case Washington Heights - but is in turn "silly, sad, intense and light-hearted, bold and sublime." Her quartet has been together ocho anos and this is their first CD.

All ten tunes are tops. What are you waiting for? Whet your whistle. You won't stand still long enough to use the couch. Scat singing is on "Anthropology" and "Autumn Leaves." Lyrics by Leonisa Ardizzone are on Mingus' "Goodbye Pork Pie Hat." Whistling on "Afraid of the Heights." She says there's lots of doggy doo at Washington Heights but you won't find any on this recording.

Jobim's "Triste" will steal your heart as does all Jobim, Gilberto, Getz, Byrd and all those cats. My friend, the Milwaukee composer, Sigmund Snopek III, once told me he actually learned to phonetically sing in Portuguese so he could perform bossa nova. He loved it so much. Probably still does. Ask him?

"Alone Together" is its usual sumptuous self as you already know if you've ever been alone together with a soul mate or two. "I Got Lucky" when I got this one. Now, how to figure out how to get it off the CD player long enough to hear the next one.

Leonisa Ardizzone: "You Go To My Head." I think she will go to yours, too. Exit, stage left, whistling.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Leonisa Ardizzone Quartet
  • CD Title: Afraid of the Heights
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: ardijenn music
  • Rating: Four Stars
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