With her clear, cool voice, Janet Seidel successfully combines the fluencies of such singers as Chris Connor, Blossom Dearie, Peggy Lee and Doris Day into a style which focuses on delivering the story told by the lyrics rather than making her vocal faculties the message.
This is the Australian's 8th album for the La Brava label and reflects her ability to make each new release as fresh and as captivating as those that preceded it. She does this by adding something a bit different. Here it is William Galison's harmonica with that haunting, sensuous tone only that instrument produces. The musical agenda is made up of songs which bring out the best in the combination of voice with harmonica recalling Toots Thielemanns' work with the likes of Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan and Elaine Elias to name just a few. Songs like "Baltimore Oriole", "In a Sentimental Mood" and "Stardust", classic standards all, fit perfectly within the feeling of soul created by Seidel and Galison. Add a dash of Chuck Morgan guitar and the delicate drumming of Adam Pache and out comes a different approach to these oft saddled warhorses. On the lighter side, Seidel takes on a girlish tone (which she does very well) with another Hoagy Carmichael gem, "Rockin' Chai"r. Carmichael is represented heavily at this session with six of his tunes on the play list. Galison also shows he can sing as he joins Seidel on a tender duet of "Every Time We Say Goodbye.
Seidel has earned admission into that select cadre of singers who accompany themselves at piano like Sarah Vaughan, Jeri Southern, Shirley Horn and Nina Simone. One thing that stays the same is Seidel's affection for strings which have shown up on earlier albums. But on this session, she limits their participation to just two tracks.
Love Letters is another fine production by Janet Seidel with lots of help from her friends and is highly recommended.
Personnel: Janet Seidel - Vocals/Piano/Conductor; William Galison -Harmonica/Vocals*; Chuck Morgan - Guitar; David Seidel - Bass; Adam Pache - Drums; Michelle Kelly, Kate Morgan, Fiona Ziegler, Leon Ziegler, Phillip Peipman - Strings**; Kevin Hunt - Piano#; Len Barnard - Drums#