"The under pinning of this album is the stuff that NPR loves to trumpet. Y'know what? This has enough going for it on its own that NPR can come late to the party and it won't matter. Produced by Rosanne Vitro, she must have stayed up nights thinking this up. A 77 year old vocalist, who photographs much younger, always wanted to be a vocalist. Here she gets her wish, pretty much singing the songs she grew up with. Another take on the great American song book, Houston Person shows up on "As Time Goes By'; Sara Caswell shows up on "My Way"; there's a lot of wow on this session. Jazz vocal fans just need to open their ears in this direction for a real treat from start to finish where the music and the singing are never less than first rate. A classic feeling date that isn't afraid to swing, this is the real deal Well done. Midwest Records
This amazing CD from Masumi Ormandy contains 10
outstandingly performed standards. It begins with the very swinging “On The Sunny Side Of The Street” (Mc Hugh/Fields) which highlights ace trumpet player Freddie Hendrix. “I’ll Be Seeing You” (Kahal/Fain) features the delightful guitar of Paul Meyers. Ms. Ormandy delicately vocalizes the familiar lyrics offering us a gentle wonder.
On to “Misty” (Garner/Burke) which affords the sensational tenor saxophone player Houston Pearson to shine. Together they have a great time with this evergreen. Here is a most ideal pairing of two meaningfully rewarding performers with the same aim. Masumi at times delays some lyrics with her special on/off beat. In her case it works very well. Houston is also featured on “Blue Skies” (Berlin) conveying a swinging happy time here.
As Time Goes By” (Hupfeld) and “Summertime” (Howard/Gershwins) are vocally paired in a fine artful way. Houston once again mesmerizes. This is a musical team to watch. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a follow-up CD?
Finally violinist Sara Caswell is heard on “My Way”
(Anka/Thibaut/Francois/ Revaux). This is ballad artistry of the first order. Ms. Caswell and Ms. Ormandy ever so slowly command your attention with their brilliant musicality.
This is one of the finest CDs I have heard this year.”
~ Dan Singer, In Tune International
Masumi Ormandy had a dream, a dream that one day she'd record a jazz album. It didn't happen overnight, in fact, Ormandy was 77 before her dreams came to fruition. Prior toSunshine in Manhattan, the Tokyo born singer taught English at her Pacific Language School. When her passion for jazz singing surfaced she moved from Tokyo to New York and studied with Roseanna Vitro, an esteemed clinician, performer, recording artist, and vocal instructor with 12 albums of her own including a Grammy Nomination.
After 3 months of study, Vitro decided the time was ripe for Masumi to record an album. Her mentor set up the musicians - a dream team with tenor legend Houston Person providing some gutsy solos, Freddie Hendrix blowing some Armstrong inspired licks and Tomboulian chipping in with the arrangements as well as some exemplary piano playing.
Ormandy sings well - not just for a 77-year-old but for an any year old! Which brings me to the album cover. The photo was either taken 50 years ago or she's related to Dorian Gray!
It's easy listening and I say that without any derogatory connotations. Ormandy's got an appealing voice and it's good to hear Houston Person.
No great surprises amongst the repertoire: On the Sunny Side of the Street; It Had to be You; They Can't Take That Away From Me; I'll Be Seeing You; Autumn Leaves; Misty; Blue Skies; As Time Goes by; Summertime (natch!) and My Way.
~ Lance at bebopspokenhere.blogspot.com
Surprisingly, given her light and fluid vocal sound, Masumi Ormany is 77 years old and with this début album she fulfills a lifelong dream. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given Masumi’s age, her chosen repertoire comes from the Great American Songbook. Among the songs, performed with gentle sincerity, are They Can’t Take That Away From Me, As Time Goes By, I’ll Be Seeing You, and On The Sunny Side Of The Street. [masumi] The core trio supporting Masumi is pianist-arranger Lee Tomboulian, bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner, and they are joined by guest instrumentalists Paul Meyers, guitar, Freddie Hendrix, trumpet, Sara Caswell, violin, and on an especially attractive version of Misty, veteran tenor saxophonist Houston Person. ~ Jazz Mostly by Bruce Crowther
The album opens with "They Can't Take That Away", which is apt given that Masumi has held on to the dream of releasing a jazz album for all her life. She delivers a delightful and laid back album, which I find I can listen to over and over again. The standout tracks, in addition to the one already mentioned are "Misty," "It had To Be You" because I love the acoustic guitar which features throughout and "Blue Skies." A fantastic realisation of a long held dream and dreamy vocals which force you to stop and just listen and relax. ~ David Owen, Floradio, UK
Ormandy sounds right at home working with these outstanding musicians, and has readily adapted to the demands of a recording studio. She has an understated approach to the songs, giving careful attention to the lyrics… Welcome to the ranks of recorded singers Masumi Ormandy! You have held your own in a demanding field.
Talk about taking one’s time to get around to making a recording, vocalist MASUMI ORMANDY waited until the age of 77 to take the plunge, and when she did so for Sunshine in Manhattan (Miles High Records – 8626), she surrounded herself with a superb cast of musicians. The basic group comprises pianist/arranger Lee Tamboulian, bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Tim Horner, with contributions by Paul Meyers on guitar, Houston Person on tenor sax, Freddie Hendrix on trumpet and Sara Caswell on violin. The program includes “On the Sunny Side of the Street,” “It Had to Be You,” “They Can’t Take That Away from Me,” “I’ll Be Seeing You,” “Autumn Leaves,” “Misty,” “Blue Skies,” “As Time Goes By,” “Summertime” and “My Way.” Ormandy sounds right at home working with these outstanding musicians, and has readily adapted to the demands of a recording studio. She has an understated approach to the songs, giving careful attention to the lyrics. Unlike many singers from Japan, she sounds quite natural singing the English lyrics. The photos on the album cover show a lady who has retained a youthful appearance that belies her years, a quality that is also apparent in her voice. Welcome to the ranks of recorded singers Masumi Ormandy! You have held your own in a demanding field. ~Joe Lang JERSEY JAZZ
Masumi Ormandy is Loving the 'Sunshine in Manhattan
There's a lesson to be learned within the grooves of singer Masumi Ormandy's Sunshine in Manhattan (Miles High Records): never give up...follow your dreams...and, most importantly of all, as in Masumi's case, shoot for that debut CD even if you are 77 years old.
Only she knew the simmering boil of her artistic needs as she struggled to maintain her Pacific Language School in Tokyo where she taught English to Japanese students. Forty-two years later, with the school still going strong, she could no longer ignore the pounding of her heart's desire, so, at 76, she first set sail for New York City, the jazz capital of the world.
Studying with Roseanna Vitro, she found her inner Ella. Vitro, an acclaimed vocalist in her own right, produces Sunshine in Manhattan with the kind of attention-to-detail that has resulted in tenor saxophone legend Houston Person, 81, lending his silky swing to "On The Sunny Side Of The Street." Vitro recasts "I'll Be Seeing You" as a gently swaying bossa-nova. She hired hot up'n'coming NYC trumpet star Freddie Hendrix to ape Miles for "The Autumn Leaves."
Recognize those songs? Yeah, you do. You'll also recognize "It Had To Be You," "Misty," "Blues Skies," "As Time Goes By," "Summertime" and "My Way" too, for Sunshine in Manhattan is subtitled Masumi Ormandy Sings The Great American Songbook. Now before you go running away and screaming at yet the umpteenth vocalist attempting to crack this most enticing of musical strains to anyone over 40, let me put in a word for her vocals. They're sweet. Unassuming. Coquettish even. She comes to these songs, songs so ingrained in American cultural DNA, as an outsider. Thus, she brings a new perspective. ~ Mike Greenblatt, theclassicalarts.com
Sunshine in Manhattan is a cool take on the American Songbook that serves as fine entertainment. Japanese vocalist Masumi Ormandy embraces ten classics and gives us 40 minutes of dinner-club style entertainment. Roseanne Vitro produces the effort with solos coming from a talented team including Freddie Hendrix (t), Houston Person (sax), Paul Meyers (g) and Sara Caswell (violin) all combining to make a good show!