Working mostly in a trio scenario, Catherine Dupuis' second album offers a wide-ranging play list, mostly standards, spiked with a couple of originals, a folk tune, and apiece by Sting. Like her first album, top rank pianist Bill Mays is the principal accompanist and is responsible for all but one of the fresh arrangements. Dupuis has the basic tools a good singer needs. She sings in key, can be understood and works hard to capture the meaning and sense of the words she is singing. There is a soft and tender "Isn't It a Pity", with an expressive bass solo by Martin Wind. In contrast, Dupuis goes all the way on a rollicking and cleverly scored "I'm Old Fashioned". Unlike her first release, the trio is buttressed on some tracks with horns that add fullness to the session. They enhance a slow tempo, slinky "Get out of Town" with Jim Pugh's trombone carrying the major solo load. Horns are used to accent Dupuis' wordless vocalizing prowess on "Interlude" ("A Night in Tunisia") as voice and trumpet become one.
Her affinity for the music and the talent to deliver it notwithstanding, Dupuis has to learn to be more relaxed and not let her powerful voice overwhelm the song, which it does on occasion. It's fine to work hard at what you're doing, but it shouldn't be made so obvious to the listener. With that shortcoming in mind, this is a fine effort.
Personnel: Catherine Dupuis - Vocals; Bill Mays - Piano; Martin Wind - Bass; Tim Horner - Drums; Marvin Stamm - Trumpet/Flugelhorn; Ted Nash - Alto Sax/Flute; Jim Pugh - Trombone; Memo Acevedo - Percussion