Chicago-born Libby York's third album, Here With You
, is an expression of her jazz vocal techniques, with more than a little of Chris Connor and June Christy in her delivery. York goes right out on a limb by challenging Peggy Lee's "I Love Being Here With You" as an opener, a tune also associated with Chris Connor.
It is York's second choice, however, the rarely heard Kaye/Springer song "The Day The World Stopped Turning," that surprises. This song appeared on Johnny Hartman's last Impulse! album, 1965's The Voice That Is, and was the most disposable tune on the album. York's small combo bossa nova version of "The Day The World Stopped Turning" easily trumps Bob Hammer's cornball arrangement for Johnny Hartman in 1965. It's still not a great song, but it does sound so much better.
York puts it all together with the assist of guitarist Howard Alden's arrangements. Guitarist Russell Malone also appears for some delicious duets on Coots/Lewis' "For All We Know," Cahn/Styne's "A Beautiful Friendship" and Douchette/Wolfe's "Azure Te (Paris Blues)," a song with which you just can't go wrong. York provides a rarely heard vocal version of Anderson/Grouyal's "Flamingo," and has some further fine support from cornetist (and vocal partner) Warren Vache.
What are the conclusions that can be reached regarding Libby York's musical career? After graduating from American University in Washington, D.C., she opened a club in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and then lived in Key West, Florida. It wasn't until 1981 that she settled in New York to study with singers Abbey Lincoln and Judy Niemack. Her only two previous albums have been with Chicago based Southport in 1998 and for BluJazz, also a Windy City label, in 2004. Here With You not only her declares her availability, but her full-fledged jazz vocal credentials.
Personnel: Libby York: vocals; Russell Malone: guitar (3, 6, 8); Howard Alden: guitar; Warren Vache: cornet and vocals (4); Jon Burr: bass; Vanderlei Pereira: drums: percussion (2, 5, 9-11).