Stephanie Nakasian: I Love You (2006)
Jazz Vocalist Stephanie Nakasian has an active history over the past several decades, working with vocal jazz legend Jon Hendricks and Family in the mid-1980s. Around that time, I first saw Nakasian when she appeared with Phil Woods. Nowadays, Nakasian resides in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she has been recording and, with her pianist/partner, Hod O'Brien, has a daughter who sings and records under the name Veronica Swift.
I Love You was released in Japan in 2006 and, unlike Thrush Hour (V.S.O.P. Records, 2007), allows her to present a group of songs from The Great American Songbook without having to reinterpret them in the guise of other jazz vocalists. I Love You finds Nakasian with an effective small combo featuring O'Brien along with saxophonist Harry Allen; bassist Neal Miner and drummer Jimmy Wormworth, interpreting fourteen tunes that occasionally extend into the latter part of the twentieth century, but largely reflect the earlier Golden Age of American popular music.
Of the newer material, Nakasian offers effective takes on Alan and Marilyn Bergman's "You Must Believe In Spring, the Bergmans/Dori Caymmi/Nelson Matta tune "So Many Stars," and the popular Mercer/Mancini classic, "Days of Wine and Roses." "I Don't Mind," by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, is a good example of an obscure but very listenable tune for jazz enthusiasts.
Track Listing: The Gypsy In My Soul; I Don't Mind; I Love You; Serenade In Blue; All The Things You Are; Blue Moon; So Many Stars; The Days Of Wine And Roses; Someone To Watch Over Me; The Breeze And I; I'm In The Mood For Love; But Beautiful; I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me; You Must Believe In Spring.
Personnel: Stephanie Nakasian: vocals; Harry Allen: tenor sax; Hod O'Brien: piano; Neal Miner: bass; Jimmy Wormworth: drums