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Cathy Rocco Releases First Solo Jazz CD, “You‘Re Gonna Hear From Me” On Resonance Records, August 12, 2008

United States
English
13th October 2008 — On Cathy Rocco’s latest release for Resonance Records, You’re Gonna Hear From Me, this dynamic jazz vocalist packs more than a tune’s worth of warmth and power into every song she sings. Whether the tune in question is a heavy-swinging rendition of a jazz standard, a belting R&B ballad by Aretha Franklin, or a wistful melody from traditional pop, Rocco asserts each lyric, each note with the confidence of an experienced and knowing performer.

You’re Gonna Hear From Me features Rocco on 12 selections from various jazz, pop, and R&B composers, her rich vocals standing in bas relief against the disc’s fresh arrangements and engaging orchestrations. Drawing on the considerable talents of pianists/arrangers Kuno Schmid and Tamir Hendelman, Rocco delivers some unexpected turns on familiar tunes—like “Come Rain Or Come Shine” as a burner and a Latin-tinged “There Will Never Be Another You”, or, in a final twist, a bluesy, fully charged version of the title cut, “You’re Gonna Hear From Me.”
While Rocco borrows from many musical influences in her performing, “my inspirations were always from jazz,” says the singer, who has studied both classical piano and voice and worked professionally in several genres of music. This CD is her first released as a solo jazz artist.

Rocco opens the album with “Autumn Leaves”, scatting a subtle theme that the band repeats throughout Hendelman’s arrangement of Joseph Kosma’s well-known melody. After this cool intro, however, Hendelman and guitarist Michael Higgins stoke the intensity of the track with extensive solo sections before Rocco re-enters with some added heat of her own. Rocco’s impassioned interpretation here makes the tune less about the mournful passing of time, as it is normally interpreted, than about a remembered thrill that will, no doubt, be repeated.
In “Autumn Leaves” we find a promise that the rest of the disc fulfills: Rocco brings her passionate delivery to each and every title, no matter what its style or tempo. On “Come Rain Or Come Shine” Rocco matches bassist Dave Carpenter’s hard-driving bass line with a solid iteration of the melody; when Kuno Schmid’s horn section (courtesy of the Vienna Symphonic Library) enters, Rocco elaborates with an expansive scat. Then, on “Daydreaming”, one of Aretha Franklin’s signature compositions, Rocco changes speed and style, offering the melismatic riffs and backup chorus one would expect of a pop R&B number but with the restrained accompaniment of a jazz tune. The net result is a compelling hybrid of these two styles, held together by Rocco’s persuasive, emotional vocals.

Again demonstrating her talent for stylistic reversals, Rocco turns out a heart-rending rendition of “For Once In My Life”—not as a show-stopper but as an introspective ballad that underscores the lyrics’ message of determination and gratitude. Similarly, on “I Never Went Away” and “Tea For Two” Rocco reveals the softer side of passion—tempering her full sound with subdued tempos to impart the longing and pathos of unrequited love. For a singer as emotive as Rocco, these
introspective re-interpretations of popular tunes are effortless: “I go right into the mood as soon as I hit the first notes,” Rocco admits.
Rocco includes two straight-ahead blues tunes on the CD: Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason” and Mel London’s “Little By Little.” (This last was included almost as an afterthought. “We needed another tune,” Rocco explains. “And I wanted to do it because it’s a swing on a blues.”) Wholly absent from these two numbers is any hint of sentimentality—in them Rocco displays the grit that only goes to prove her versatility as a singer and her knowledge as a musician.
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