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It is with deep shock and sadness that we report the unexpected passing of Debra Mann, an acclaimed and supremely talented jazz singer, pianist and composer on our Whaling City Sound label. Her most recent recording, Full Circle, featuring the music of Joni Mitchell, was released in August 2018. She had also released three CD recordings on her label, Jobe Records.Her career was decorated with highlights. A Berklee grad, Debra was widely hailed as Rhode Island’s premier jazz pianist and vocalist. She performed at Symphony Hall in Boston as a featured guest soloist with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra. She had the distinct honor of performing at the request of Frank Sinatra. In celebration of Women’s History Month, she performed with her trio on Ron Dellachiesa’s WGBH radio program “Music America.” She was a prized member of the regional jazz community, having shared the stage with artists including Dick Johnson, Herb Pomeroy, Gray Sargent, Marshall Wood, Ted Casher, Jeff Stout, Ed Saindon, and many others. Dino Govoni, Jay Azzolina, Dave Zinno, Marty Richards, Jerry Leake, and Paul Angel joined her on our Full Circle release.She was also a passionate educator, on the faculty of Brown University and Wheaton College.
We at Whaling City Sound, along with the music community, will miss Debra’s extraordinary and elegant musical voice. We mourn deeply her passing and extend our sympathy to her family and friends.For more information see
Dori Rubbicco took a degree in music and jazz vocal studies at Westfield State University and her association with her musical director John Harrison dates back to 1978 when they rehearsed together for a wedding gig. Whilst living in Los Angeles, Rubbicco auditioned for and then studied with John Dankworth and Cleo Laine. She met her future husband, guitarist Donn Legge, whilst they were both living in Miami where they resided for 17 years before returning to her home state of Massachusetts.
Stage Door Live! is the name given to a series of monthly concerts commenced in 2011 at New Bedford’s Zeiterion Theatre, where seating is arranged in a fairly informal, jazz club style and this set from the venue will appeal greatly to lovers of torch songs and the great American songbook. That said, John Harrison’s “Roman Sun” is an instrumental and one of two originals in the set.
Rubbicco’s feisty vocalese reading of “Twisted”, the sardonic song written and made famous by Annie Ross, elevates the recording to a whole new level. Rubbicco’s gifted with a good singing voice and she combines it with a powerful and convincing delivery which at its best evinces genuine emotional depth. One perfect example of this is her own moving composition “Right Here Waiting”.
The choice of numbers occasionally borders on the anodyne, although the languid, soulful arrangement of John Lennon’s “Imagine” unfailingly piques the listener’s interest, transforming it into something else entirely. Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Two Kites” ends oddly with a fade-out, presumably for technical reasons, but the finale, “That’s All”, imbued with an ebullient, lively execution, clearly demonstrates Rubbicco’s potential as an outstanding vocalist.
Roman Sun; Imagine; Two Kites; Pretty Funny; No Regrets; Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow; Throw It Away; Twisted; Right Here Waiting; I Can See Clearly; That’s All (66.38)
Rubbicco (v); John Harrison III (p); Bill Miele (elb); Yoron Israel (d); Donn Legge (g); Bryan Steele (ts, ss); Ian Rubbicco Legge (clo). 18 May 2017, New Bedford, Massachusetts.
Whaling City Sound 107
It is one of life’s great blessings to have known, albeit briefly, the wonderful person Reggie Young. You can read about his accomplishments – they were many and significant, particularly to those he helped become stars and chart-toppers – wherever you get your music news. What stood out to me is how humble, considerate and thoughtful he was in person. At a small CD release party for his first CD under his own name, Forever Young, in his home town of Leipers Fork, TN, many of his longtime cohorts and friends paid tribute to a person they respected not just for his unusual musical abilities, but also for the friend they had come to know well and love.
Reggie will be missed by many as one who lived his life as it should be lived, without ego and bluster, with a focused commitment to the musical task at hand and also to respecting and helping those he came to know.
Our condolences go out to Reggie’s family. His warmth and spirit continue to guide us.
Neal Weiss, president
Whaling City Soundleft to right: Tom Evered, Neal Weiss, Jenny Young, Reggie Youngphoto credit Ginny Shea, July 18, 2016, NashvilleSad to report the passing of legendary session guitarist and Whaling City artist Reggie Young. He was one of the most recorded guitarists in the sixties, seventies and eighties playing on numerous legendary hits by Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield and more.
Young was a member of the country supergroup The Highwaymen w/ Kris Kristofferson, WillieNelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings. He was also a founding member of the Bill Black Combo. In 1964, The Beatles requested the Combo open for them during their first U.S. tour and invited the group over to England for another month-long tour.