King on the Road
by S. H. Watkins, Sr.
I had the opportunity to sit in on An Interview with Nancy King last month and it became evident why she is such a soulful singer. She has a wonderful acceptance of life and her place in the scheme of things that allows her to focus on the music. Ask any of the up and coming female jazz vocalists who they idolized as singers and most will include Nancy King on their ‘short list’.
Her most recent release King on the Road is a great collection of tunes performed with bassist Glen Moore (from the internationally known ensemble ‘Oregon’) and sax-man Rob Scheps. The CD itself includes some classics (Up a Lazy River, Caravan) and some originals, many penned by bassist Moore. Nancy has a long performance history with Moore, recording three albums with him under the moniker ‘King and Moore’ in the 90’s.
The title tune is Nancy’s own rendition of the Roger Miller classic ‘King of The Road’. She also performs the Bobby Gentry hit ‘Ode to Billy Joe’. Both of these tunes are bluesy and Nancy’s subtle intonations and expressive interpretations, set against Moore’s solid bass lines and accentuated by Shep’s sweet sax, bring you into the stories and carry you along beautifully.
The production on the CD is very clean, giving you a real sense of being right there at the session. ‘Pretty red Truck’ is one of Nancy’s favorites and she sings it like she enjoys it. Having seen Nancy King perform many of the tunes on the CD live at Jazz DeOpus in Portland, Oregon, then hearing the album I can attest to one thing, this CD is very Nancy King…true to the music.
Be sure to check out our Nancy King Interview in the next issue of JazzUSA!