Joy Bellis: Coming Alive (2006)
I rather enjoyed this album by vocalist Joy Bellis, despite the fact that the second track is a cover of the Britney Spears pop hit "Baby One More Time." By day, Bellis is a Wall Street investment banker. She hails from Bucks County, Pennsylvania and clearly deserves recognition for her musical talents.
Bellis' choice of material and overall enthusiasm raise this album above the ordinary. The well-chosen set list avoids most of the usual tunes which should be considered ripe for retirement.
The de rigeur up-tempo version of Frank Loesser's "Never Will I Marry" works out fine. It seems to me that Anthony Perkins, the singer/actor in the original Broadway production, was the only one who sang this as a ballad. Jobim's beautiful first-generation bossa love song "Bonita" is hardly on anyone's lips anymore. Bobby Troup's "The Meaning of the Blues" will bring a smile to anyone who has heard the Carmen McRae or Miles Davis/Gil Evans version.
Lyrics by Mike Ferro for Thelonious Monk's "Well,You Needn't" give Bellis a good opportunity to demonstrate her jazz vocal chops, and the Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley 1960s show tune "Look At That Face" has now been rescued from oblivion. The album ends with two Edu Lobo compositions: "For Me," which was a big pop hit for Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66; and "To Say Goodbye."
Track Listing: Is You Is Or Is You Ain't (My Baby); Baby One More Time; All The Way; Never Will I Marry; Bonita; Look At That Face; It'sw Over Now(Well;You Needn't); Time After Time; Out Of This World; The Meaning Of The Blues; Sugar; To Say Goodby (Pra Dizer Adeus).
Personnel: Joy Bellis: vocals; David Epstein: piano; Robert Sabin: bass; Jeff Davis: drums; Doug Hinrichs: percussion.