As soon as the first note comes out of her, you know that Arlette Beauchamps has been classically and, with her ability to project, has appeared on the musical stage. For her debut album, Beauchamps has chosen a selection of tunes from the pens of some of the top writers of popular song, delivering them in a variety of instrumental settings. Dan Krimm's fretless bass, pitched to sound like a guitar, is the major backing on "`Round Midnight", while through the magic of electronic wizardry, her quintet of musicians has been enhanced to sound like a swinging band on You Do Something to Me. The muted trumpet, al a Harry "Sweets" Edison or Don Fagerquist, of Jothan Callins is featured on "Speak Low". Ersatz strings come in on a lovely "Moonlight in Vermont". Is electronic gimmickry wonderful or what?
No one can quarrel with the purity of Beauchamps' voice, the emotional ardor of her delivery or her diction. But there are problems. One is that she loses the pitch from time to time such as on the opening bars of "Tonight". But the major limitation which keeps this album from an excellent rating is that her voice is so dominating it needs stronger accompaniment. On the big band recreation of "You Do Something" to Me she is given sufficient carpet over which she can float her delivery. On most cuts she and her sidemen seem to be separated, like she's in one room and they in another, with no communication. Moreover, it sounds in some cases like there are two sets of arrangements, one for the musicians and another for the vocalist. It's too bad, because Beauchamps has much to offer with the potential to be a real force in the jazz/traditional pop arena.
Track Listing: Speak Low; Inchworm; Tonight; `Round Midnight; Let's Do It; Love Again; You Do Something to Me; Moonlight in Vermont; Love for Sale; The Man I Love; Just One of Those Things
Personnel: Arlette Beauchamps - Vocals; Gary Motley - Piano; Dan Krimm - Fretless Bass; Darryl Cornut - Bass; Nat Smith - Drums; Jothan Callins - Trumpet