Joyce Cobb with the Michael Jefry Stevens Trio (2010)
On their self-titled album Joyce Cobb with the Michael Jefry Stevens Trio, Stevens leads the rhythm section in deftly complementing Cobb’s full range of honey sweet vocals with carefully composed peaks and valleys. Beginning with the distressed album-opening “Moanin’,” they collectively deliver 12 tales that ebb and flow as a dialogue between inflamed passions and desperate solitude. Drawing on her own uniquely developed mixture of silky jazz and aching soul, Cobb scours the depths of cheerless heartache (“It’s Over Now”) and profound longing (“If You Never Come to Me”), before illuminating the heights of hopeful anticipation (“Jitterbug Waltz”) and unwavering love (“My Heart Belongs to Daddy”, “If You Know Love”). Throughout, Stevens provides vibrantly articulated and lyrical solos, as Wires and Ward glide naturally between moods and tempos with remarkable ease and style.