This week, Jackie Cain, the surviving member of the vocal duo Jackie and Roy, sang with some of their arrangements from nearly half a century ago. Ms. Cain’s angelic voice, an instrument of purity and tonal accuracy rarely equaled in any area of music, has seldom been heard since Roy Kral, her husband, died in 2002. Her re-emergence performing with a big band was an event. Here is a bit of Zan Stewart’s report from the Newark Star-Ledger.
Cain was spotlighted on several ballads, among them “Darn That Dream,” “I’m Glad There Is You,” and “Angel Eyes.” These were arranged with panache by Bill Holman, whose beguiling washes of sound both supported and surrounded Cain.
Here, the qualities of her voice and her strengths as a fine interpreter of classic material stood out. Her pitch was spot on. She moved lyrics and rhythms subtly, giving them a personal swing, and decided emotion. She was a little thin on top, though she held long high tones without wavering. Her middle and lower notes were full; she closed phrases with tight vibratos. For someone her age, 77, who has not sung regularly, Cain was first rate.
Singing again in public must be therapy for Jackie Cain after the loss of her husband and artistic partner of more than fifty years. It is bound to be therapy for her audiences. To read the rest of Stewart’s review, click here.
Bill Kirchner says
One correction to Zan Stewart’s lovely review:
the arrangement of “Darn That Dream” was written by Ralph Burns. Out of 21 big-band charts that were written for Jackie and Roy in 1957, we performed 11 that evening: two by Burns, one each by Quincy Jones and Ernie Wilkins, and the rest by Bill Holman. Moreover, it was the first time those arrangements had been played since the record dates 49 years ago!
Steve Anderson says
I bought my one and only Jackie & Roy album, “Free and Easy”, when it first came out. My musical taste kinda stayed in that period, and as life went on I tried to teach my children that this was the music they should attached themselves to, all in vain.
Nonetheless, I have listened to this album year after year, and smile to remember the time when this was a genuine treasure. Thank you very much for giving my ears, and mind the pleasure of your sounds and style.