How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
As Nancy Wilson sings about having her troubles evaporate, she must surely realize that her music has had that effect on us for ages. Just one listen, and we know. Her performances rescue us from our daily doldrums and elevate our mood for keeps.
In late 2002 and early 2003, she recorded with different ensembles at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild in Pittsburgh. Her intimate studio performances are some of the best ever.
She works with strings, big bands, small ensembles, and her piano trio. As Phil Woods and Toots Thielemans trade replies to her queries, Wilson proves convincing. With Joe Negri and a few background harmony vocalists, she delivers her vintage wishes for success. No one can leave you feeling as good. Wilson's performance is like the smell of honeysuckle on a cool summer night when the forecast calls for blue skies.
A sturdy Manchester Craftsmen's Guild all-star big band performs "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" with Wilson and Woods. It's a vintage big band sound with a fresh arrangement. With Paquito D'Rivera and Andy Snitzer on clarinet and Mike Tomaro on flute and bass clarinet, she performs "How About Me" with emotions bared. The woodwind timbres provide a sultry soundingboard for Wilson's spine-tingling message. No one can walk away from this affair with dry eyes.
George Shearing shares a duet with Wilson on "Blame It On My Youth." Together, they interpret this old chestnut with honesty. It's a veteran affair that's meant for all souls. Bill Watrous joins her for "You'll See," Ivan Lins duets with her on "Dois Corregos," and vibraphonist Gary Burton lends an assist for "That's All." With this all-star cast, Nancy Wilson remains in her prime. Like fine wine...
Track Listing: An Older Man Is Like an Elegant Wine; Day In, Day Out; Why Did I Choose You; I Wish I'd Met You; I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart; Goodbye; How About Me; Minds of Their Own (Dois Corregos); Little Green Apples; You'll See; That's All; Blame It On My Youth.
Personnel: Nancy Wilson- vocals; Llew Matthews- piano; Dwayne Dolphin- bass; Jamey Haddad- drums; Phil Woods- alto saxophone; Mike Tomaro- alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet; Andres Bojarsky- alto saxophone, flute; Andy Snitzer- tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, clarinet; Eric DeFade- tenor saxophone, flute; Jim Germann- baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Jim Hynes, Bob Millikan, Steve Hawk, Dennis Reynolds- trumpet; Mike Davis- trombone; Jay Ashby- trombone, background vocals on "I Wish I'd Met You;" Gary Piecka, Max Seigel- bass trombone; Marty Ashby- guitar; Rufus Reid- bass; Lewis Nash- drums; Toots Thielemans- harmonica on "An Older Man Is Like an Elegant Wine;" Andres Cardenes- violin on "Why Did I Choose You;" Tatiana Mead Chamis- viola on "Why Did I Choose You;" David Premo- cello on "Why Did I Choose You;" Kim Nazarian- background vocals on "I Wish I'd Met You;" Joe Negri- guitar on "I Wish I'd Met You;" Kenny Lattimore- vocal on "Why Did I Choose You;" Paquito D'Rivera- clarinet on "How About Me;" Ivan Lins- keyboards on "Minds Of Their Own;" Bill Watrous- trombone on "You'll See;" Gary Burton- vibraphone on "That's All;" George Shearing- piano on "Blame It On My Youth."