Thursday, February 1, 2007

Beegie Adair: Sentimental Journey

Village Square
By Ric Bang • Originally published in The Davis Enterprise, 2.1.07
Buy CD: Sentimental Journey

This is a labor of love by pianist Beegie Adair, who grew up during World War II. She was exposed constantly to the many songs that were written and performed during that period, and she recently decided to create an album as a tribute to what she terms "this wonderful music." 

Sentimental Journey is the result. 

Adair was born and brought up in Kentucky, and she now lives and works out of Nashville, Tenn. She's proof that "country" isn't the only musical form emanating from that area. Much of her early experience came from working with the likes of Dolly Parton and Chet Atkins, of course, but her real love always has been related to jazz. 

Adair is a prolific artist; she has produced — or been part of — almost two dozen CDs since the early 1990s. Her core group is a trio, with her piano accompanied by Roger Spencer (bass) and Chris Brown (drums). Both gentlemen are consummate musicians who've played with the likes of Maynard Ferguson and Les Brown. 

This trio swings; Adair & Co. have played together so long, that they think as one. 

The album contains a dozen unforgettable tracks. Those of us who were part of that period remember that "records" produced at the time were limited to about 3 1/2 minutes of playing time. Adair performs each tune with the same constraint, which creates a similar "feel" as those old 78s. 

Additionally, each song is performed at the ballad tempo longtime listeners will well remember. "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You," "Moonlight Serenade," "Sentimental Journey," "I'll Never Smile Again," "It's Been a Long, Long Time," "At Last," "You'll Never Know" and "I'll Be Seeing You" are perfect for slow dancing, while the up-tempo "Begin The Beguine," "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "String of Pearls" and "In the Mood" will make you want to Lindy again. 

This album should appeal to all who lived through this era. It probably won't be a big seller for today's youth, or even for the boomer generation, but enough of us senior citizens are around to make this a winner for Adair and Village Square.

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