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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Annie Ross: To Lady with Love

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Her spoken-word introduction is like an incantation. “To Lady" may only be 46 seconds long, but it has a lasting impact on everything that follows. Veteran singer (and actor) Annie Ross' To Lady With Love has the potential to unsettle, calm the nerves, transport you to another time and place. Whatever it does, if you let it affect you, this music will likely alter everything that happens to you the rest of the day, or night. After all, along with Annie Ross, it's Billie Holiday we're talking, singing about. A brilliant move, this CD (which also includes a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hilary Gardner: The Great City

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New York City has its fair share of sobriquets--"The City That Never Sleeps," “The Big Apple," and “Gotham" are just a few that spring to mind. It's a place of joy and frustration, triumph and tragedy, hope and despair, and all that exists between the extremes. It's a microcosm of the world we know, existing not as a great city, but as the great city. Just ask vocalist Hilary Gardner, an Alaskan- turned-New Yorker who's been soaking up New York City's aura and contributing to its cultural landscape since 2003. Plenty of musicians, in New York or ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paul Jost: Breaking Through

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Paul Jost's second outing on Dot Time Records is an eclectic collection of standard repertoire performed in a fresh and exciting manner that leaves no doubt this artist is a creative force that deserves to be added to the list of great male jazz vocalists of all time. The album opens with a version of “Singing In The Rain" that pays homage to the original while allowing Jost all the room needed to show off his vocal prowess in this up tempo swinger. One of the most touching moments on this track occurs just prior to the closing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Madeleine Peyroux: Keep Me In Your Heart For A While: The Best Of Madeleine Peyroux

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Vocalist and composer Madeleine Peyroux has a stylistic reach well beyond that of jazz. Her only peer in this respect is Nora Jones. True, she has a great fascination with Billie Holiday, but she has managed to assimilate this influence into her own presence and parlay it into the para-jazz realm with intelligent programming and song choice. These have been the hallmark of Peyroux's art over her six recordings. Peyroux's music is beautifully crafted and organic with more polish than late '90s Cassandra Wilson. The instrument choice on a given song is as carefully chosen as the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Kurt Elling's Passion World at Jazz at the Kimmel

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Kurt Elling: “Passion World" Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts Perelman Theater Philadelphia, PA October 5, 2014 Kurt Elling has repeatedly proved his mettle as a vocalist, accumulating so many Downbeat awards and Grammy nominations that it seems superfluous to once again critique any of his performances. One can only say, “Ditto, he's done it again." But, because he keeps developing his scope, it's always worth taking a new look. A telescopic perspective can help. The last time this reviewer saw Elling live was a decade ago ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sarah Marie Young: Little Candy Heart

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Sarah Marie Young's Little Candy Heart occupies the space where jazz, soul and classic R&B meet and exchange ideas. On this evidence, it's a great place to be. Young's first release on Dutch download-only label SnipRecords is one of the most beautiful albums of 2014. Stylistically there's an old-school vibe going on: song-focussed and soulful. Chicago-based Young has a talent for writing songs that feel familiar but never sound clichéd or sterile--proper songs, with universal themes, memorable melodies and strong lyrics. American Songbook meets Stevie Wonder or Smokey Robinson, if that's not overstating things. Young's voice ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Donna Deussen: High Wire and On the Street Where You Live

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More telling than her Berklee College of Music magna cum laude degree is singer Donna Deussen's private instruction under Tierney Sutton. Sutton is second only to Cassandra Wilson when considering the seismic styleistic shifts in jazz vocals over the past 20 years. Deussen integrates her instruction intelligently, avoiding imitation. Her lessons learned are made her own. Duessen has released two recordings, about ten years apart. Side-by-side, They offer a staccato look at the singer's evolution. In a highly competitive field, Donna Duessen is deserving of much more attention than she has been given. Her time has come. ...



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