March 2013 CD of the Month

Jan 23, 2014

Jackie Ryan  "Listen Here"  Open Arts Productions

Over the past 10 years, Jackie Ryan has become one of jazz’s top vocalists, able to sing in a wide array of styles utilizing her 3 ½ octave range to amaze audiences around the world-especially in London and the West Coast of the US. Ms. Ryan’s discography also displays her talents of giving new life to standards while offering contemporary songs interpreted with originality. For her latest recording, Listen Here, Ryan’s sixth for Open Arts Productions, Jackie is accompanied by GRAMMY® award winner bassist-bandleader John Clayton and a superb cast of musicians including John’s son, GRAMMY® nominee pianist, Gerald Clayton. Already hailed as Jackie Ryan’s best CD to date, the recording features blues, ballads, samba, Gershwin, and more. My favorite track is a gospel rendition of the classic, Accentuate the Positive featuring a rare performance by Gerald on organ. As is her custom Jackie includes a Spanish language song that honors her late mother, a Mexican singer from Acapulco who would sing to Jacqueline in Spanish when she was growing up. Adding to her musical lineage is her Irish father who is a classically trained baritone able to sing in various languages. As the old adage suggests, “the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree” because like her father, Ryan sings in several languages as well 

Jackie is a native of the San Francisco suburb San Rafael and still makes the Bay Area her home. Unlike other gifted singers with a range of several octaves, Ryan doesn’t engage in theatrics, she uses her voice an instrument, applying her wide range to color the song and captivate the listener, perhaps the best at that since Sarah Vaughan. Jackie has always kept in touch with her roots with frequent trips to Mexico to visit with her sister, cousins and other family members. CNN TV en Español devoted an entire 15 minute segment to Jackie which was broadcast on television worldwide. After an encounter with vocalese master Eddie Jefferson’s band, she was inspired to write lyrics to previous instrumental songs and record them in a vocalese style, utilizing these tunes for further improvisations while performing live. March is Women’s History Month and our choice this month is by a woman making history, her CD just finished a run as Jazz Week's number one most played album for 4 consecutive weeks. After you have heard Listen Here you might be sharing this recording with others telling them to listen here!


Click here to see an 11 minute clip on the making of Listen Here.