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JAZZ REVIEW : Daddy's Money: Versatile Female Vocal Trio

February 02, 1988|A. JAMES LISKA

One danger female vocal groups face is that if they're not careful in their song selection, they end up sounding either like the Andrews Sisters or the Supremes.

Daddy's Money, a trio of Amy Weston, Dee Dee Bellson and Vicki McClure, has successfully avoided that danger by providing such an eclectic mix and wide range of styles as to have almost no identity. Slowly, however, the trio is building its own.

That, of course, is the best route to take, and Sunday night at Bon Appetit in Westwood the 3-year-old trio wended its way through a pleasant set of jazz, rock and pop tunes that featured each of the young ladies in apt musical settings.

There was no shortage of swing tunes from this group, which was deftly accompanied by a five-piece band led by pianist Eric Doney. "Straighten Up and Fly Right" was the perfect up-tempo opener, giving way to a hard-rocking "Dr. Jazz," which featured the considerable saxophone talents of Dick Mitchell.

A novelty tune, "Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens," had the ladies offering a campy boogie-woogie that reminded too much of the Andrews Sisters. Later in the set, Marvin Gaye's "You're All I Need" had the group sounding much like the Supremes. But these were two brief lapses that did more to show the group's versatility than an error of judgment.

Two judgment errors, though, were McClure singing a mournful ballad about Los Angeles, "My Town," and Bellson offering James Taylor's "How Sweet It Is." McClure, who is best remembered for her singing at the opening of the 1984 Summer Olympics, milked the song for more than it was worth. Bellson, on the other hand, had little to milk. With her vocal range and ability, she should have found a better piece of material.

Weston had a pair of good feature outings with "I'm Beginning to See the Light" and the ballad, "Body and Soul." Both showed her at her vocalizing best.

With the combined vocal abilities of these young women, Daddy should see a return on his investment shortly.

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