Marcelle Gauvin: Faces of Love
Marcelle Gauvin makes the best of her first recording opportunity. Not only does she put her voice into each song, but her heart and soul too. This style may not be everyone's piece of cake. But here it comes off well because the emotive noises one usually finds with this expressive mode is not here. Moreover, Gauvin has good diction and stays in key. She obviously understands that irrespective of the amount of feeling she expends, if no one understands what she's singing it all goes for naught.
The play list has familiar classics side by side with unfamiliar material. "Sentimental" shows off Gauvin's ability to swing and launches strong tenor playing by Michael Monagan. Carol Coates' under recorded "Rainy Afternoon" gets a memorable reading. Gauvin is coy with a cute "Look at Me Now" featuring more fine Monagan sax. One of the top tracks is Brazilian classicist Hector Villa-Lobos' "Eu Te Amo" which Gauvin sings in Portugese.
Gauvin gives equal time to the sidemen which is wise since these guys can really play. Monagan has graced the albums of such New England vocalists as Carol Ackerson and Carol O'Shaughnessy. Kontrimas' bass has accompanied Paul Broadnax on a couple of that singer's releases. Jack Menna's drums keep things on course with his solid time keeping, taking some rim shots from time to time and judicious use of brushes. The bright piano of John Harrison is critical to lifting the session above the ordinary. But it is Gauvin's cute, coy and intimate style which is the main attraction. Recommended.
Track Listing: The Best Thing for You; Love for Sale; Skylark; Look at Me Now; Medley: If You Never Come to Me/Triste; Sentimental; Not While I'm Around; Rainy Afternoon; Rough Ridin'; Autumn; Love You Madly; Eu Te Amo*
Personnel: Marcelle Gauvin - Vocals; John Harrison - Piano; Peter Kontrimas - Bass; Jack Menna - Drums; Michael Monagan, Stan Strickland* - Tenor Sax