If a singer chooses to perform a program of standards in a laid back, relaxed manner, the vocalist had better have the chops to sustain slow tempos because there's nowhere to hide. One very fine singers now working out of the San Francisco area, Clairdee, pulls it off going away. With her husky, deep toned contralto, she runs through a musical agenda of eleven standards and near standards. All the usual adjectives rightfully apply to Clairdee's voice and delivery - lush, velvet, smooth, sensuous and romantic. If one is listening to this with their significant other, the message is delivered very quickly to turn the lights down low and settle in for amorous activities along with some good listening.
Clairdee brings to her interpretations of these gems from the Great American Songbook a feeling for jazz coupled with much more than a small breath of fresh air, but also a heavy dose of musical imagination with sensitivity. She gets plenty of help from the very good musicians who join her in the studio. On the title tune "Destination Moon" the opening measures by bassist John Wiitala provides the thematic framework for Clairdee and pianist Ken French to follow. Wiitala has worked with other San Francisco-based vocalists like Cathi Walkup. There's a Latin tinged rendition of "Star Eyes" that is one of the highlights of the album. Here Clairdee shows her ability to be soft and tender despite the pounding Latin beat. One of the few moments of swinging animation comes on "Beautiful Friendship" where Clairdee unpacks her scatting, but goes about in it a way so as not to override the whimsical ambience she creates with this CD. Dmitri Matheny's flugelhorn is used sparingly on this set. But he engages in a pleasant give and take with Clairdee on "I've Got the World on a String".
With this album, Clairdee establishes her credentials as one of the more lyrical vocalists on today's scene. Destination Moon is highly recommended. Visit Clairdee at her Internet site at www.clairdee.com.
Personnel: Clairdee - Vocals; Ken French - Piano; Eddie Marshall - Drums; John Wiitala - Bass: Dimitri Matheny* - Flugelhorn