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The Phyllis Emert Trio - My First Child

MY FIRST CHILD is available on Amazon, iTunes, and more.

Originally released in 1975, MY FIRST CHILD is the debut album of jazz pianist Phyllis Emert.  From the LP's liner notes:

While Phyllis Emert's classmates at Dallas' Sunset High School were getting off on Fats Domino, her head was in Hampton Hawes and Oscar Peterson.  When the budding combos of the day would struggle through their latest Top-40 record copy, the little girl with the big blue eyes, bobbie sox and bangs would befuddle the talent show judges with a faultless Lullaby of Birdland or Opus Defunk.

Phyllis was not your typical teenager, no more than she is today's typical jazz pianist.  Those early influences, which produced a funky, straight-ahead style have fused with a unique sensitivity and creative spark, and the result is something special - MY FIRST CHILD, by the Phyllis Emert Trio.

The title is twofold, alluding to the group's initial album together, as well as one of the cuts, a hauntingly beautiful ballad which was Phyllis' first composition.  The selections are varied and showcase not only the leader, but an outstanding supporting cast as well.

Listeners who miss the no-nonsense 4/4 approach many jazz groups have abandoned of late should enjoy Slow Boat To China and Bernie's tune.  An exciting treatment of Gino Vanelli's Jack Miraculous returns to the present . . . and then some.

Hello Young Lovers, done as a bossa nova waltz presents a rhythmic challenge drummer Jim Vaughn answers flawlessly;  likewise, the samba feel enhances Ramsey Lewis' Jamaican Marketplace.  Jobim's No More Blues, alternating major with minor, may be the sleeper of the album.

But, for the purest insight into Phyllis, the music and the person, listen closely to the two ballad cuts, the aforementioned title song and Ballad To An Empty Room.  In the latter, especially, does the artist take advantage of the tempo and chord structure to dissect the piece, down to the individual measure, giving each an emotion and personality of its own.  Phyllis - as someone once put it - never just plays a ballad.  She owns it.

So, with these eight tunes is born a First Child . . .

                                                                 -Don Gilliland, Former DownBeat Correspondent


 1. Hello Young Lovers  5:00
      (Rogers & Hammerstein) ASCAP
 2. Bernie's Tune  3:43

     (B. Miller) BMI
 3. Ballad To An Empty Room 6:08

      (P. Emert) BMI
 4. Jamaican Marketplace 4:42

      (Lewis-Eaton) BMI
 5. Slow Boat To China 4:35

      (Loesser) ASCAP
 6. No More Blues 4:45

      (Jobim) BMI
 7. My First Child 6:45

      (P. Emert) BMI
 8. Jack Miraculous 3:39

      (Vanelli) ASCAP

MY FIRST CHILD

Phyllis Emert, piano
Allan Rogers, bass
Jim Vaughn, drums

UPC: 889290167590

© 2015 System Tree



The Phyllis Emert Trio - My First Child