Moonshine In Nashville
“Don’t let the title of singer Julia Rich’s CD fool you. ‘Moonshine in Nashville’ is not a country CD! Ms. Rich pays a vocal tribute to her hometown with the title song, but the rest of this wonderful collection of pop oldies is pure vintage enjoyment! From ‘I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket’ to ‘You Turned the Tables on Me’ to ‘When My Sugar Walks down the Street… and Lennon & McCartney’s ‘I’m Happy Just to Dance with You,’ this is one melodic group of titles! And I haven’t even mentioned my favorite—‘No Love, No Nothin’’–the ’40s Alice Faye hit. Although this CD’s title conjures up a moonlit southern evening, Julia Rich is the star. Her honey-hued voice makes every one of her releases a delight. ‘Moonshine in Nashville’ is no exception.”
– Phil Stout
“I became an immediate fan of Julia Rich after seeing her perform with the Glenn Miller Orchestra.. She has an elegant, unaffected style that I find very appealing.After listening to ‘Witch Hazel,’ I learned that Ms. Rich’s skills as a singer are matched by her skills as a songwriter. Some of her material, such as ‘Dreaming Dreams and Such’ and ‘A Little Thing Called Gin,’ are so intensely personal that it is difficult to imagine anyone other than her singing them.
Around half of the songs on this CD are originals; and, though Ms. Rich’s performance of standards is uniformly excellent (‘Desafinado’ is especially outstanding), those originals alone make this a great buy. They make it clear that Julia Rich is not only a singer and songwriter with considerable talent but is also a highly intelligent woman with a great deal of insight.
The other musicians on this CD are also excellent.
Readers of this review should know that I typically prefer instrumentals over vocals, especially in the genre of jazz. But I have listened to ‘Witch Hazel’ many times, and I seem to enjoy it more each time.”
- George H. Smith
If I Spoke French
“Julia Rich shows an allegiance to the big band forms of the ’40’s and ’50’s but also proves to be a very intelligent songwriter who can come up with a lot of witty tunes about love and life, such as ‘If I Spoke French’ and ‘Boyfriends.’ Her smooth, elegant voice sounds best on slow, languid tempos with Larry O’Brien’s smooth, Tommy Dorsey-like trombone or Rickey Woodard’s deep tenor behind her. Her tries at other styles are worthy as well. There’s the perky calypso beat of ‘Hula Girls,’ the jazzy brassiness of ‘Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead,’ a solemn version of ‘The Tennessee Waltz’ and a bossa nova treatment of the Beatles on ‘I Will.’ Mostly, though, there’s the laid-back sexy assurance found on old swing chestnuts like ‘Don’t Blame Me,’ ‘I Know Why’ and ‘All The Cats Join In,’ pieces done intimately with just a few horns and sounding like gold. Julia Rich is doing what she sounds best at on this CD.”
Cadence Magazine – February 2004
The Way You Make Me Feel
“For her second album, Julia Rich sinks her musical teeth into an assorted program of standards, a Beatles tune, and seven of her works, one of which she wrote with Benita Hill, whose tunes have been recorded by the cover boy of country music: Garth Brooks. The Rich/Hill collaboration, ‘Raining In Rio,’ resembles country music not one whit. Instead, it’s romantic with George Tidwell’s flugelhorn playing an important role in extending it beyond merely presentable. In addition to original material, there are other significant differences between this album and Rich’s initial effort. On ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ she is jazzier, helped along with first-rate jazz musicians. But they were with her on the first album, so the more upbeat feel is Rich’s doing. Her readings of the tunes show a higher degree of confidence, a willingness to branch out beyond standard material. This greater assurance is heard on ‘You Hit The Spot,’ a duet with Bob Mater’s drums. Unerringly on pitch, this is a choice track. Another attraction is Rich’s compositions. In addition to lyrics that talk about everyday situations, the harmonic structure gives her sidemen something to build a solo on, as with Tidwell’s flugelhorn on ‘The Irises.’ Rich is also more relaxed than ever, even on up-tempo material like a sweet, not girlish, ‘A-Tisket, A-Tasket,’ alternating lines with Tidwell and Woodard. The interrelation of ‘In A Sentimental Mood’ is otherworldly.
“Too often, singers fall into that sophomore slump with their second album. Not so with Rich, who excels in every respect. Her delivery is tailored in such a way as to reflect the unique essence of each tune on the program. This along with the presence of instrumentalists who fiercely compliment her make this album highly recommended.”
All Music Guide
I’ll Take Romance
“A beautiful new album so carefully crafted. Julia has clearly learned much from her experience as the ‘band singer’ with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and her respect for these songs is so effectively communicated. Pure, straightforward, unadorned jazz-inflected popular singing. The world needs many more singers approaching these songs with the feeling and love expressed here.”
Pat Goodhope “Sinatra and Company”
AM 1290/WJBR Radio – Wilmington, DE
“Wow!! A real treat. Every word, every song, sung with real feeling. It’s been a long time. A long time between real singers. Anita, June, Chris, each one made each song their own. Add Julia to the list. The voice is ‘Rich.’ The CD is ‘Rich’ in her choice of songs, backup musicians, and recording personnel. I loved every note. Even the rests were beautiful.”
FM 88.7/WOBO Radio – Cincinnati, OH
LOS ANGELES TIMES, JAZZ REVIEW:
Bowl Swings to Big Band Sound – by Leonard Feather – September 7, 1990
“The moon was full, and so, virtually, was the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday, when 17,545 big band loyalists attended the ghostly ceremonies administered not by Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey or Glenn Miller, but by their live surrogates, Frank Foster, Buddy Morrow and Larry O’Brien…
“…Larry O’Brien, a personable leader and a first rate trombonist, was 11 years old in 1944 when Miller died, and his present sidemen were unborn, yet they brought conviction to the arrangements, particularly a Bill Finegan version of ‘Swing Low Sweet Chariot’ that had the 17 men swinging. Julia Rich and Tom Postillo handled several vocals capably.”