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Live Down Under - Live at the 9:20 Special - I Know How to Do It


  Barbara Morrison

Barbara Morrison – I Know How to Do It  
1997 Chartmaker Records

The Band
Barbara Morrison – vocals; Daniel May – piano; Benjamin May – double bass; John Merola – drums; Charles Small – guitar; Steve Wood – organ; Al Grey – trombone.

By her devotion and tenacity, Barbara Morrison has developed her vocalizing skills along with hard work, research and reverence for many of the greats who preceded her such as Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn and others… I trust you will enjoy these magnificent performances.’   --- Terry Edwards, liner notes.

While this will not be a dancer favorite in the terms of Live at the 9:20 Special, it does give the dancer in you perspective and broadens your understanding of what a complete singer, nay, artist is. 

There are a mixture of rhythms and emotions scattered in this collection from Ms. Morrison.  She swings hard on the opening song, Don’t Let Me Lose This Dream.  The other dancer gem is September in the Rain.  The rest will be ear candy for you as you listen to one of today’s best jazz singers. 

Blues dancers will gravitate towards this CD for gems like I Ain’t Got Nothing but the Blues, Don’t Touch Me, I Know How to Do It and Don’t Go to Strangers.

If you are strictly looking for swing dance music, you may want to download the couple songs mentioned from iTunes.  Otherwise, if you are looking for a complete musical journey from a powerhouse singer of Barbara Morrison’s caliber, you’ll want to pick up the whole CD.  This woman is simply amazing. 

Bottom Line:  To buy or not to buy….. BUY!  Here’s how: 

Barbara Morrison CD Cover.jpg (20633 bytes)  Barbara Morrison

Live at the 9:20 Special
May 30, 2002
SQ Issue:  Spring 2003, Volume 13, Issue 2

The Band:
Barbara Morrison – Vocals; John R. Burr – Piano; Steve Campos – Trumpet; Danny Caron – Guitar; Ruth Davies – Bass; John Haynes – Drums; Charles McNeal – Tenor Saxophone

“Her melodic voice, with its tow-and-a-half octave range, is known worldwide as is her rich, unique, soulful, and highly spirited interpretations of both familiar Jazz and Blues classics and original contemporary songs – Liner Notes

There is nothing better than buying a CD that Lindy Hoppers have had a hand in producing.  This is such a CD.

Kudos to Elliott Donnelly, Paul Overton, and Jason Christodoulou for being involved in this project.  There is not a bad song on this CD.  Every song is quite danceable as well as extremely entertaining.  The band is top shelf throughout and you’ll enjoy solos by all of them.

Barbara Morrison’s vocals are extremely pleasing to the ear.  Her energy is phenomenal throughout.  She creates excitement with each song and leaves you wanting more.

The song selection was fantastic.  You’ll hear lots of your favorites, including Stormy Monday, Fever and Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.  Morrison also makes it possible to enjoy medleys with such gems as Alright, OK You Win/Everyday (I Have the Blues) and Kansas City/Shake Rattle and Roll.

There are tons more favorites to be had, too! 

I cannot find one thing bad to say about this.  However, some may find, from a dancer’s standpoint, some tracks on the lengthy side.  The Comeback runs 7:39 and there are some of 6:00 as well.  This shouldn’t deter you from getting this CD for your library.  It just means you need to be sure to grab your favorite dance partner when you hear these tunes playin’!

I don’t want to short the musicians on this review.  They are all superb.  To point out any particular solos would only do injustice to what feels like a totally complete musical success. 

Jazz fan or Blues fan (or both!), you want to get this CD.  It’s for you! 

Bottom Line:  To buy or not to buy….. Buy!  Here’s how:

  Barbara Morrison

Live Down Under
SQ Issue:  Spring 2003, Volume 13, Issue 3

The Band:
Barbara Morrison – Vocals; John Harkins – Piano; Doug De Vries – Guitar; Frank Di Sario – Bass; Dave Beck – Drums;

“Her resume reads like a who’s who of jazz and blues history. – Liner Notes


After hearing Barbara’s CD Live at the 9:20 Special (reviewed in SQ, Vol. 13, Issue 2), I have become a huge fan of hers.  Also, getting to see her live at the Dakota Bar & Grill in April helped to cement her in my mind as a jazz/blues icon.  That is where I picked up this CD.

Live Down Under isn’t the exceptional swing dance CD of the previously reviewed Barbara Morrison CD but there are enough danceable tunes mixed with exceptional jazz and blues standards that make this a good buy for dancers.

For the purely swing dance oriented songs, Barbara excels on the opening track with Exactly Like You.  This is my favorite song of the CD.  Her vocals are so smooth and flowing that you can’t help but love this song.  Additional “danceable” swing tunes include Doing All Right and Never Make Your Move Too Soon.  A couple other tracks for those who like to Lindy to slower tunes are Don’t Touch Me and another highlight of the CD, They Call Me Sundown.  A good R&B tune that’s fun to dance to is Still Called the Blues.

The whole CD is pleasing to the ear.  Morrison works in some standard jazz and latin along with some nice slow bluesy tunes to fill out the dance numbers.  You’ll recognize some of the tunes like Love for Sale, I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face and My Funny Valentine.

This is a good CD for your library.  The musicianship is top notch and Barbara is one of the most pleasing vocalists I’ve ever heard.  Not to mention that I was fortunate enough to hear her sing some of these songs live!

Bottom Line:  To buy or not to buy….. Buy!  Here’s how: