Jazz vocalist Vanessa Rubin gets back to basics on her new album Language of Love. Her debut for Telarc is comprised of no formula, no program, and no preconceived notions. It's just a remarkable collection of standards side by side with more offbeat material, into which Rubin slips one by one, making each of them her own.
Vanessa Rubin grew up in a household filled with the sounds of jazz, and began her own career as a jazz vocalist in Cleveland before moving to New York City in 1982 to make her mark. She studied with Barry Harris and Frank Foster at Harris's Jazz Cultural Theater. As word spread quickly about the new voice in town, Vanessa was soon working with the likes of Kenny Barron, Stanley Cowell, George Coleman, Pharoah Sanders, the Lionel Hampton Big Band and the Mercer Ellington Orchestra.
Alongside her regular bandmates Colligan, bassist Richie Goods and drummer Dwayne "Cook" Broadnax, with whom she had broken in all of the songs onstage night after night, for Language of Love Vanessa was able to call on such special guest as guitarist Henry Johnson and drummer Billy Higgins to lend their unique brand of support. Vocalist Freddy Cole also dropped by to lend his suave and distinctive vocals to two numbers, "Nice 'n' Easy" and "Every Time We Say Goodbye." "This is back to jazz," Vanessa says. "For me it's about the magic, and magic comes in so many different shapes and forms. It's not just scatting and improvising. It's not a formula."