Jennifer Leitham – The Real Me
Record review by TC Krentz
The Real Me is the 7th CD release for bassist Jennifer Leitham. She has already had an astounding career; performing on over 100 recordings, has played with jazz greats such as Gerry Mulligan, Peggy Lee, Mel Torme, Woody Herman, Louie Bellson, Bill Watrous and Joe Pass, and has been a member of the Tonight Show All-Stars, the Benny Carter Quintet, to name a few. But enough of the name dropping –
Jennifer Leitham has her own sovereignty as a bassist/singer/songwriter. The Real Me is proof – a brilliant collective of 11 original jazz compositions. One track alone warrants owning this CD – Beat the Meatles, self described as “a crazy quilt of melodies lifted from Beatles songs juxtaposed over rhythmic & harmonic motifs based on Beatle ideas.”
There is also a remake of one of her earlier recordings of what may be endeared as her greatest hit yet; “Studio City Stomp” – a catchy as hell song I defy you to get out of your head after the first listen.
Jennifer engages the stand up bass with an ingenious intensity of both mad scientist and passionate lover. But don’t get scared off yet; there are beautifully relaxing and sometimes humorous traits to this record that balances out a well rounded production that you’d expect from a seasoned jazz artist.
Tracks like Keni’s Song prove Jennifer can hold her own as an “a cappella bassist”, so to speak. Consider it an enjoyable sneak preview to a CD she has future plans to record; an anthology of all solo bass pieces.
The experience is doubled-down with a special appearance by renown bassist John Clayton for a round of collaborative two-bar bass exchanges on Riff Raff.
Players John Nelson (piano) and Randy Drake (drums) supply the rest of the musical provisions, both contributing remarkable solo work on top of already amazing accompaniment.
Check out Jennifer’s website for more information on her new CD:
NEW !!! Jennifer Leitham interview