Throw back singers are seductive, sassy and just a tad on on sensual side. Roberta Donnay and her Prohibition Mob Band hit their marks with sheer perfection on A Little Sugar. A spot on swing collection of vintage jazz, blues, and swing has the listener from the get go with this set of jazz based horn laden original Empty Bed Blues. A true triple threat finds this singer, songwriter and producer at the very top of her game featuring stellar gems from the 1920's and 1930's. Having done extensive work with Dan Hicks and the Hot Licks not to forget artists such as featured soloist for Grammy nominated composer Wayne Wallace, Jean Luc Ponty and Freddie Hubbard, Roberta Donnay is the eclectic vocalists dream as she draws upon on an organic ability to take the ordinary tune and make it extraordinary with spot on phrasing, timing and a raw sensuality seldom heard on the music scene today.
Donnay draw upon the musical legacy of the early masters such as Bessie Smith, Sippie Wallace, and of course Ella and Billie. Roberta Donnay's gift is her musical legacy of the throwback, there are singers and then there are vocal artists with Donnay falling into the later category. Tunes on this impeccable set include "Rocking Chair" from Hoagy Carmichael and the self penned original "Empty Bed Blues." This is where and more importantly why A Little Sugar Works So Incredibly well. There is nothing tired and predictable with this recording. Eclectic tunes are given a second chance at a new life with the artistry that is Roberta Donnay. Jazz, especially vocal jazz is taken far too seriously today. Donnay takes old school jazz, makes it new cool and most of all makes it fun. It swings and it swings hard. Old school has never sounded better and Roberta Donnay is certainly a name to remember!
Tracks: Oh Papa; You Got To Swing and Sway; Mama's Gone, Goodbye; Say It Isn't So; I've Got A Feeling; One Monkey Don't Stop No Show; Rocking Chair; (Tropical) Heatwave; You Go To My Head; Sugar Blues; You've Been A Good Ole Wagon; (I Want A Little) Sugar In My Bowl; Empty Bed Blues.
Roberta Donnay: vocals; John R. Burr: piano; Sam Bevam: bass; Michael Barsimanto: drums; Sheldon Brown: saxophones, clarinet, flute; Wayne Wallace: Trombone; Ed Ivey: tuba ( 3&11).
Motema continues to put out some of the finest jazz on the scene today and Roberta Donnay is no exception!