Marcelle Gauvin: The Edge of the Pond (2002)
For her second CD for the New Bedford, MA label, Whaling City Sound resident vocalist Marcelle Gauvin offers a program comprising a variety of idioms, running from standard classics through Brazilian jazz to the craggy rhythms of Thelonious Monk, with a couple of intermediate stops along the way. Gauvin is accompanied by some of the top jazz artists from the label's stable of fine instrumentalists. They are allowed plenty of space to stretch out adding to the album's attractiveness. It's not one chorus of vocalizing and out. "You Stepped out of a Dream" features significant solos by pianist John Harrison as well as Dino Govoni's tenor rhapsodizing underneath Gauvin's musical recitation of the lyrics. When it comes to expressing her emotions, Gauvin holds nothing back. She is often intense, determined to wring from a song every ounce of feeling it has to offer. At the same time, she manages to avoid falling into the trap of becoming maudlin and cloying. Jobim's "Double Rainbow", as much as any cut, typifies the emotional motif underlying this session as Gauvin kicks off with ardent wordless vocalizing before sequing into the lyrics. Harrison's piano both in the role of accompanist and then soloist, takes on classical undertones. In contrast, simplicity reigns on "Dedicated to You" with Govoni returning with his melodic, understated tenor, an unusual role for this otherwise hard bop performer. But Govoni is turned loose on a highly animated version of "I Believe in You". The other members of the rhythm section, veteran bassist Brian Torff and drummer Alan Hall do yeomen work in setting and maintaining the rhythmic pace appropriate for the song being performed. While there is nothing earth shattering nor groundbreaking on this album, it is nonetheless a pleasant 60 plus minutes vocal and instrumental jazz presented by players who know what they're about. Recommended.
Track Listing: I Believe in You; Saturday; Monk's Dream; Limao; Double Rainbow; Fixing a Hole; Dedicated to You; By Myself; L'
Personnel: Marcelle Gauvin - Vocal; Dino Govoni - Tenor Sax; John Harrison - Piano; Brian Torff - Bass; Alan Hall - Drums