“ Her tasteful re-imaginings of the melodies we know and love are both logical and magical.”
With a move from Princeton, New Jersey to Park Slope, Brooklyn, Jackie Bonomo Messina began a transformation from poet to jazz vocalist. Her poems had been published in The Massachusetts Review, Prairie Schooner, and an anthology of Italian-American women writers, The Dream Book, winner of an American Book Award, yet she was seeking a more interactive creative outlet. Through participation in a weekly workshop directed by pianist Enos Payne at the nearby Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, she found a connection between the accentual rhythms of contemporary poetry and jazz phrasing. Over five years, her musical relationship with Payne developed into a collaboration that resulted in fresh arrangements of songs. Messina further honed vocal and improvisational skills with mentors Amy London, Judy Niemack, Jay Clayton, and Jane Irving.
Necessary Arrangements, her 2011 tribute CD,
features her singing tunes arranged by herself and Payne. Bruce Barth on piano heads a lineup of stellar musicians, including Will Galison on harmonica, Paul Beaudry and Ed Howard on bass, and Cliff Barbaro, a former drummer for Betty Carter. Exquisite solos throughout by Barth and Galison further elevate the freshness and originality of these interpretations, which will draw lovers of jazz back for repeated listening. Manhattan audiences have enjoyed live performances of Jackie’s inventive repertoire at clubs like Smalls, 55 Bar, Nomad, and Hermana.