"THE DUCHESS" (EAR-1025 - )
DORIS SPEARS honed her craft in Chicago with such luminaries as Von Freeman, Gene Ammons and
Sonny Stitt. Her talent won the attention of Lionel Hampton, who featured
Doris for two years. Since that time she has performed with Ted Curson,
Clark Terry, Jimmy McGriff and Jack MacDuff.
- Personnel, track listings and reviews for "Jazz & Juke Joints"
- Personnel, track listings and reviews for "The Duchess" ()
The Duchess' second Dreambox jazz release features such luminaries as drummer Cecil Brooks III, saxophonist David Murray and Steve Nelson (vibes) on four originals along with seven standards:
"Jack of All Trades" / "Everything Happens to Me" / "This Could Be the Start of Something Big" / "Spellbound" / "VooDoo Doll" / "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life" / "Stolen Kisses" / "'Deed I Do" / "Cried My Last Tear" / "Ode to a Whore" / "To My Friends and Family"
What the critics say:
"...Spears proves to be a sultry handful. The vocalist...ranges from lusty to downright reverential on this release...
A talented group of sidemen accompany her, including drummer Cecil Brooks 3d, saxophonist David Murray and vibraphonist Steve Nelson.
But Spears is the focal point, showing a jaunty step on Steve Allen's 'This Could Be the Start of Something Big.' She lets out the beast in a rocking country way on a horn-laden original, 'Ode to a Whore.' And she could be in church for the anthemlike 'To My Friends and Family.'"
- Philadelphia Inquirer
The Trenton-area vocalist's debut features internationally renowned saxophonist Houston Person on two cuts (along with Philly's own Eddie Green and Tyrone Brown) and a fine group of Norwegian musicians, including ex-Don Patterson Organ Trio guitarist Paul Weeden, Sr.: "Evil Gal Blues"/"Funny"/"Speak Low"/"Jazz Ain't Nothin' But Soul"/"Old Folks"/"The Island"/"Day By Day"/"Stormy Weather"/"Social Call"/"The Song Is You"/"To My Friends & Family."
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What the critics say:
"Vocalist Doris Spears comes on like gangbusters with 'Evil Gal Blues,' then...she cranks it up again on 'Stormy Weather,' a short sprightly 'The Song Is You,' and a sultry 'Day By Day,' the latter accompanied by bassist Tyrone Brown with occasional tasty accents by Houston Person." - JazzTimes
"...her appeal transcends the sweetness and light of her voice. Rather, it's the meaning that she invests in the lyrics that elevate her talent to the higher plane that distinguishes a singer...as many times as I've listened to 'Old Folks,' Spears' story-telling ability through song reveals the wry lyrics to me for the first time - and brought a smile." - Jazz News