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Noel Jewkes Ensemble

Noel Jewkes, reeds; Chuck MacKinnon, trumpet, fluegelhorn; Matthew Clark, piano; Al Bent, bass; Curt Moore, drums; Scotty Wright, vocals

The title song is named for and dedicated to producer Pat Nacey's cat. It's a sleek composition that perfectly evokes a slinky townhouse feline. To set it off, composer Noel Jewkes has created an arrangement where the horns provide a bed of velvet for Scotty Wright's cool, sophisticated vocal. As Jewkes, MacKinnon, and Clark take their solos the mood shifts to a Jazzier jam-session feel, and then Scotty's vocal reprise returns to the urbane cabaret ambience.

"Cat in a Blue Fur Suit" is a much more proletarian animal, a hipster slinking through the alleys, brought to life by Jewkes's sinuous soprano sax and Scotty's teasing scat vocal.

The rest of the songs on this cassette tape are standards. The quality of the musicianship is very high: all the players are actively involved in the music, not just going through the motions. Billy Strayhorn's "Something to Live For" continues the mood of elegant sophistication evoked by "Vooti." "Lady Be Good" is played in 3/4 time with some harmonic distortions that may not be to everybody's taste.

by Robert Tate

Vooti is available through the Jazz Now Direct CD Store.