REVIEW: MARYLYNN GILLASPIE- SECRET LANGUAGE

Colorado is known for world class jazz, strange as that might sound. Colorado is also known historically for world class vocal jazz. Denver native Dianne Reeves has earned five Grammy Awards and an honorary Doctorate from Julliard for her work in that genre.

Boulder based Rare Silk earned two Grammy nominations for their vocalese / vocal jazz in the early ’80s, and Lannie Garrett blessed area stages into the 21st century with her torch and big band jazz stylizations.

MaryLynn Gillaspie started out with Rare Silk, a vocal quartet that she, her sister Gaile and Marguerite Juneman formed in the late seventies as a trio to sing songs influenced by and in the style of swing-era acts like the Andrews Sisters. Their debut, New Weave, was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Jazz Vocal–Duo or Group category. Rare Silk ended their run in 1988.

MaryLynn Gillaspie wouldn’t be heard from again until 2012, when she began showing up with local Boulder/Denver musicians, sitting in for a song or two. That gave her the confidence to step into the studio, twenty-five years after Rare Silk ended.

Here’s a collection of songs MaryLynn has recorded since re-emerging in the scene a decade ago.

Secret Language (2022)

To be honest, with the exception of the standards, Dolphin Dance and Fly Me to the Moon, I knew almost nothing about the rest of the songs on the album. They could have all been self-penned for all I knew before opening it up and reading about it.

Fortunately, I listened without any real bias that way – it was a clean listen. And then I looked to see who wrote what.

It’s a shame really that I can’t find any liner notes. It would be nice to see who played what on each track. Based on the bits and pieces I have been able to collect, the notes read like a who’s who of Denver/Boulder talent, produced by Grammy winning Boulder composer and producer Kip Keupper at Coupe Studios.

Dophin Dance is a genuine joy. MaryLynn took the Herbie Hancock tune and wrote an original set of lyrics and a vocal melody for it. She also penned an original set of lyrics to Pat Metheny‘s (It’s Just) Talk. Not limited to being inspired by and influenced by jazz (old or new), MaryLynn turned to King Crimson‘s 1981 album Discipline for an utterly original retelling of Matte Kudasai.

As it stands now, on May 15 2022, MaryLynn’s return to full length “vinyl” (euphemistically speaking) is the stand out jazz album of the year from Colorado. It’s great to hear that voice again after more than THIRTY-FIVE years.

CP S16 EP12 2022

Sometimes you just need a rainbow – photo taken in Fraser, CO summer 2019

Monday MARCH 21, 2022 – It’s springtime in the Rockies! And that means live music outdoors is not far away. Make sure to keep up with Colorado Playlist Presents shows on the Live Music page.

I’m going to be gone for the next week or two = SPRING BREAK 🙂 Upcoming shows include: Colorado Women in Music of the 20th Century and TOP 12 Most Streamed Colorado Artists/Bands March 26-April 1 and the Best of 2021 (repeat) April 2-8

FEATURED STATION OF THE WEEK

KSUT signed on for the first time on June 14, 1976. Four Corners Public Radio serves 14 communities in the Four Corners, including Durango, Silverton, Cortez, Mancos, and Pagosa Springs, Colorado; Aztec, Bloomfield and Farmington, New Mexico; and parts of northeast Arizona and southeast Utah. 

TOP 5 WEEKLY COLORADO SPINS

Spin data pulled from the Colorado Playlist105.5 The Colorado SoundIndie 102.3 and eleven stations that use playlist generator Spinitron, designed to benefit non-commercial community/public and college radio stations and offering advanced search functions for artists and agents.

Each title came out between March 2021 and March 2022. Links go to their respective YouTube page if available.

  1. THE LUMINEERS – Brightside LP
  2. NATHANIEL RATELIFF & THE NIGHTSWEATS – The Future LP
  3. THE INFAMOUS STRINGDUSTERS – Toward the Fray LP
  4. GREENSKY BLUEGRASS – Stress Dreams LP
  5. DANGO ROSEThe Forgotten Years EP Vol 2

MONDAY MORNING MUSIC MEETING (MMMM)

HOUR 1

Elton John Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – Caribou (1976)
(D) Tony Meade A Walk in the Sun (2022)

SHEL Rainbow – Rainbow (2020)
Psychodelic Zombiez Big Jay (One Step Closer) – Things That Are Brown (2015)
Joe Johnson House of God – Dark Horse, Pale Rider (2021)
The Velveteers Brightest Light – Nightmare Daydream (2021)
The Czars Killjoy – The Ugly People Vs The Beautiful People (2001)
Born In The Flood Anthem – If this thing should spill (2007)
(D) The Mssng Wandering I (2022)

Churchill Made A List – Change EP (2012)
The Still Tide Keep It – Between Skies (2020)
(D)Big Brooklyn Belong – Everyone Everywhere (2022)

HOUR 2

Dan Fogelberg Stars – Live From Ebbets Field Vol. 4 (1974)
Judy Roderick Mama Keeps Her Man At Home – Women Blue (1965)
(D) Andy Eppler It’s All About You – Lonely Disco EP (2022)
Kind Hearted Strangers The Egoist – East-West (2021)
My Body Sings ElectricBlame – Part 2: What It Means to Be Afraid (2019)
Sweet Virginia Blue Skies – Sweet Virginia (2022)
Kick and the HugGirl You’ve Changed – Ladies & Gentlemen (2022)
Dressy BessyAutomatic – Holler and Stomp (2008)
The Hillbilly HellcatsWhite Trash – Rev It Up With Taz (2003)
Johnny & The MongrelsLouisiana Girl – Creole Skies (2020)
(D) Big Gigantic x GRIZOpen Your Mind (2022)

piKziL Felix’s Lament – Songs From My 3rd Life (2016)
Scott WarrenLeft Out On The Joke – Shadow Bands (2021)
(D) David BernotNo Problems – Neverending Cycle (2022)

featuring  LiveMusicMegaSearch™

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