Jodi Beach launches long-awaited CD
By Matt P. Spinello, Freelance Writer
The Jodi Beach Trio crashed the Jazz Stage at this years On The Waterfront event armed with arrangements from their first CD, The Very Thought Of You. Smiles and applause abounded as the three-o took charge of the stage with a diversity many had not witnessed in performances past. Linked mostly to small clubs, large social functions, festivals and fine dining establishments for the last five years, they seemingly catapulted on-stage, set on a journey of their own choosing down an inventive, well-rehearsed avenue, bringing new and old music down their own fresh, personalized path. Audience response was warm and welcoming, as it was a week later when the group repeated their musical jazz journey in a three-hour presentation for the Rockford Jazz Societys monthly event.
The CDs twelve cuts include two original compositions by Ms. Beach, My Song Is You and By The Firelight, each identifiably blessed by the Jodi Beach touch. An unusual duplication on the same CD includes My Funny Valentine in two different versions, one with a complexly intricate introduction and back-up by bassist Jim McDowell and drummer Thom Fishe. The second offering links the warmly accurate mood guitar work of McDowell with a matching vocal treatment by Jodi. When you have heard both versions of this fine standard tune, you realize why both were included on the same CD. The arrangements speak loudly for themselves. The song Dindi brings an interesting Latin flavor to the discs uniquely planned series of compositons, with Jodi pouring herself into the vocal with her own recognizable voicing from within. And while taking chances most groups wouldnt consider tackling in a jazz vein, recorded for all time, Jodi and her Beach boys plow right through additional standards, presenting them with a confidence that might lead the unknowing to assume they had composed a number of them, themselves. Included on this extremely well-done album are Dizzy Gillespies Night In Tunisia, Java Jive, Peel Me A Grape, Peggy Lees Fever, and the CDs title
song, The Very Thought Of You. And more! The disc belongs on any shelf that includes fine music with a jazz flavor. The collection is definitely one of the trios best efforts to date.
Jodi Lynn Beach received a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from Judson College while touring the U. S., Canada and Europe as soloist and accompanist with the college choir. Her leap into jazzdom started with the Moonlight Jazz Orchestra as pianist/vocalist in 1995, followed by the launching of her own trio in 1997. Her trio was twice nominated for RAMI awards in the Rockford Contemporary Jazz category. They appeared on stage at this years On The Waterfront event as a Best of Rockford group. Drummer Thom Fishe has been musically active since age 13. His lengthy credits include touring the East Coast playing the hotel show circuit and opening for acts like Ahmad Jamal and Lou Rawls. Locally, he is often teamed with area Rockford Jazz Society members Rick Burns, Harlan Jefferson and Dan Voll. Jim McDowell has performed for area audiences for 30+ years. His musical diversity on bass and guitar has kept his phone ringing and in tune for a myriad of classical, jazz, rock, blues and avant garde bookings. Classifying him as a well-oiled, all-round studio musician is an accurate titling.
The trios highly applauded CD is available through local sources, or, better still, catch their performance live at their no-cover CD Release Party at Cliffbreakers, 700 West Riverside Blvd., Thursday, September 26, 7 -10 p.m., with a Showcase Concert at 8:00 p.m. Hear it live first, then buy it to complement your collection.