Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio | A Subtle Shade of Blue

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Jazz: Jazz Vocals Blues: Jazzy Blues Moods: Type: Vocal
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A Subtle Shade of Blue

by Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio

Wonderful male jazz vocalist, superb piano trio and a fantastic supporting cast produce a CD full of original compositions and standards, rich with emotional depth and musical creativity.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. A Subtle Shade of Blue
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
4:14 $0.99
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2. Lost Mind
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
4:43 $0.99
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3. Loneliness
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
3:29 $0.99
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4. Hello My Dear
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
4:02 $0.99
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5. Cheek to Cheek
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
5:07 $0.99
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6. If I Were the One
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
5:06 $0.99
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7. 105 in the Shade
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
4:44 $0.99
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8. When Did You Leave Heaven
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
4:06 $0.99
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9. I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
4:56 $0.99
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10. Stella by Starlight
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
4:32 $0.99
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11. Sho Nuff Must Be Love
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
4:56 $0.99
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12. Monk's Dream
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
3:11 $0.99
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13. Up Jumped Spring
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
3:48 $0.99
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14. I Know How to Fall in Love
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
4:57 $0.99
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15. Cold Wind Risin'
Willard McKiver & The Martin Eagle Trio
5:42 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes

Although the first selection is the title tune, this entire collection is not merely a compilation of one tune following another; A Subtle Shade Of Blue is a suite, the songs flowing seamlessly, connected by mood, and theme which the listener is wise to absorb as a whole to understand its complete meaning.

The word taste comes to mind as a summary for the entire project. Featured vocalist Willard Mckiver seems to pay homage to the Nat King Cole trio. His style is very similar to the great baritone voices in the jazz idiom, evoking the sound of Billy Eckstein, Johnny Hartman with a hint of Grady Tate and Lou Rawls, and he traverses his vocal range, from the lush bottom to a velvety falsetto, while staying emotionally and musically true to the expressive lyrics. All of the songs are tastefully arranged and presented, but Lost Mind and Monk’s Dream speak to the versatility of Mckiver’s ability to tell a story across styles. Martin Eagle’s solos were always appropriate, staying true to the melody, harmony and intent of each composition. The interplay by saxophonist Brian Miller captures the essence of the lyrics and the feel of Lost Mind and I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good. He expresses the sensitivity that is required to exchange melodic and textural conversations with a great vocalist. The exceptional phrasing along with the tasteful and understated counter lines of cellist Shana Tucker on Loneliness, add to the underlying subtlety in this project. The resolution comes in the last composition Cold Wind Risin’ where guitarist Scott Sawyer accentuates the subtle blues connotation with interludes reminiscent of Cornell Dupree.

The impressive lyrics for the original compositions were very connected to their melodies and harmonic textures. It helps to have a great vocalist deliver those lyrics, but it takes a rhythm section of the highest caliber, led by pianist Martin Eagle, to add the finishing touch. Along with bassist Ben Palmer and percussionist Dan Davis, they show how to effectively accompany a vocalist, not an easy task. These are among the most experienced musicians in the Mid-Atlantic region and it shows. Congratulations for bringing forth this concept. The original compositions and lyrics are a welcome addition to the music lexicon. This suite, A Subtle Shade Of Blue, is indicative of what Duke Ellington refers to as “Good Music.”

Ira Wiggins
Director of jazz Studies, North Carolina Central University


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