Kelly Harland: Twelve Times Romance (2002)
All the tracks are well-known standards, so the contents of the play list present no surprises here. What opens the eyes and ears, in addition to the charts, is Harland's very uncommon manner in applying her clear, unsullied, unmuddled delivery of each tune. Each tune gets a brand-new gloss from this fine singer and her quartet. With the ever increasing number of vocal releases, listeners are never sure what they are going to hear. In Harland's case, what you get is straightforward renditions of the musical agenda either as lovely, heart felt ballads, or jumping, but restrained, swingers. As for me, the result is the undisputed pleasure of highly engaging vocal jazz. It would behoove many singers from this generation of virtuosos to sit and listen to Harland to get an idea on how to proceed before they issue their own first efforts. Especially important is the rapport Harland establishes with her sidemen, such as with bass player Chuck Deardorf on "Too Late Now".This is good stuff which has earned a niche on the shelves of collections of jazz vocal fans.
Track Listing: Too Close for Comfort; Comes Love; You Stepped out of a Dream; You Go to My Head; Dancing in the Dark; The Look of Love; I've Never Been in Love Before; Lover Come Back to Me; Gone with the Wind; Too Late Now; I Believe in You; Come Rain or Come Shine
Personnel: Kelly Harland - Vocals; Ted Brancato - Piano/Arranger; Chuck Deardorf - Bass; Jay Thomas - Trumpet; Michael Spiro - Percussion; Dean Hodges - Drums