New York singer/songwriter Sarah Lynch has something going for her on her debut recording, Haunted Heart
. As a classically trained pianist, Lynch has only been singing for the past six years.
The album is roughly divided between original compositions and The Great American Songbook. The album opens with an original Lynch tune, "Progress," which is saucily accompanied by trombonist Tim Albright. The tune is played in a medium tempo New Orleans setting which is repeated midway through the album on the well-worn Rose/Conrad song "You Got to See Mama Ev'ry Night (Or You Can't See Mama At All)," which is once again delivered by a hip-shaking Lynch.
More impressive than the originals is Lynch's choice of standards. A real find is the Canning/Hegner "Tell Him I Said Hello," introduced by Betty Carter in 1955. The song has only been recorded by six vocalists since then including Linda Ronstadt, who used it to open her Hummin' to Myself album (Verve, 2004). Lynch's spare delivery on the tune is underscored by Dave Smith's trumpet solo.
On the Schwartz/Dietz title tune, Lynch is clearly influenced by the Jo Stafford late-1940s version, which contributed so much to film noir music. The tune is presented with a rhumba-like tempo, featuring guitarist Pete McCann not only subtly comping but providing an effective solo. Jobim's first wave bossa nova classic "Chega de Saudade" is given a Portuguese reading by Lynch, along with a simpatico samba setting provided by McCann. The pièce de résistance is Albright's well-tempered trombone solo. Ellington/Sigman's "All Too Soon" is heard at a medium tempo, and is well-delivered by Lynch and the backing ensemble.
There are several originals here that don't hold up to the strength of the standardsnot particularly bad, but the choice standards are far more compelling.
Personnel: Sarah Lynch: vocals; Pete McCann: guitar; Mark Ferber: drums; Phil Palombi: bass; Dave Smith: trumpet; Tim Albright: trombone.