Abigail Riccards: Every Little Star (2013)
Always supported by the best musicians, Riccards is backed up here by a piano-guitar quartet, led by pianist Michael Kanan, who handles the arrangements of all twelve songs included in this collection. His steady hand steers a neo-mainstream path, paying a counterpoint homage to John Lewis and George Shearing. Guitarist Peter Bernstein provides the string mood to the set, his introduction and accompaniment on "If I Had You" an album highlight. Bassist Neal Miner and drummer Eliot Zigmund round out the rhythm section, the quartet proving tasteful and brief support.
Riccard's instrument is one that is at once fresh and practiced. Interestingly, her voice is best framed in her duet with Monheit on Joni Mitchell's "Circle Game." Riccards' alto possesses an exegesis of the singer's art, able to fit anywhereas evidenced by her cover of Bill Evans' "Waltz For Debbie" and Irving Berlin's "How Deep Is The Ocean." The culmination of her vision is on "Sleepin' Bee," where Riccards duets with only Miner's walking bass. Riccards' footing is secure and her future bright.
Track Listing: I’ve Told Every Little Star; If I Had You; Singin’ In The Rain; How Deep Is The Ocean; Circle Game; Sleepin’ Bee; I Didn’t Know About You; I Can’t Give You Anything But Love; Smile; Waltz For Debbie; Endless Joy; Bye Bye Blackbird.
Personnel: Abigail Riccards: vocals; Michael Kanan: piano; Neal Miner: bass; Peter Bernstein: guitar; Eliot Zigmund: drums.
Record Label: Self Produced