What’s a first-rate pianist like Brian Trainor doing in a column devoted to vocalists? According to the man himself, he was inspired first by the death of Nina Simone and then the demise of Ray Charles to look at the words and the people who sing them. So Trainor gathered together five top-flight singers, of whom a couple you surely know (Jimmy Scott, Jon Lucien) and others you possibly don’t but should (Kelly Rodrigues, Lois Smith, Jacque Major), to join him on what would, sadly, prove to be his last album. Here’s hoping Trainor got the chance to hear the completed disc before he passed away in July, because the results are stunning. Trainor meshes with these fine artists like silken Givenchy wrapped around Audrey Hepburn, and they respond with equal elegance and élan.
Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.