Lorez Alexandria: Alexandria the Great (2005)
Everyone knows by now that jazz vocals are a major commodity. Besides the new crop of doe-eyed swans, there are the standard "legends" which the more discerning fan may indulge in. Pity the person who doesn't rediscover this too-long overlooked artist, particularly well represented on this gem of a CD. Recorded back in '64 with an all-star supporting cast of Jimmy Cobb, Al McKibbon, Victor Feldman, and Wynton Kelly, Lorez Alexandria displays her husky, gospel-influenced voice like a Dutch masterwork in a golden frame.
At the peak of her powers during this session, Alexandria gives soulful, world-wise renditions of show tunes "I've Grown Accustomed to His Face" and "Show Me." Taking her time with each lyric, she gets the full meaning out of each syllable. Clearly enunciating with her seductive voice, she holds onto a simple lyric like "plum" (On "The Best Is Yet to Come") and shakes it until it finally drops off the tree. Able to sound convincing on both the innocent "I've Never Been in Love Before" and the world-weary "I'm Through With Love," which is no easy task, Alexandria is capable of filtering all emotions easily with a confident demeanor.
With tasteful strings and brass supplied by Billy May (in an uncharacteristically subtle mood), and cameo appearances by Bud Shank and Paul Horn, Alexandria spotlights her impeccable voice in a perfect setting. Listen to Alexandria the Great. It's the real thing.
Track Listing: Show Me/ I've Never Been in Love Before/ Satin Doll/ My One and Only Love/ Over the Rainbow/ Get Me to the Church On Time/ The Best Is Yet to Come/ I've Grown Accustomed to His Face/ Give Me the Simple Life/ I'm Through With Love
Personnel: Lorez Alexandria- vocals; Bud Shank- flute; Al McKibbon, Paul Chambersbass; Wynton Kelly- piano; Victor Feldman- vibes; Jimmy Cobb- drums; Ray Crawfordguitar; Paul Horn- alto sax