Now comes another entry on the expanding female vocalist register with New York's Linda Ciofalo's first album featuring a program of standards and contemporary pop sprinkled with two of her originals. Ciofalo exhibits a high degree of vocal versatility and flexibility with a variety of singing styles. On Cyndi Lauper's contemporary adult pop tune "Time After Time" she assumes that disillusioned, bored-with-the-world stance that seems to shape the delivery of today's pop singers. Her own "Lost Ticket Blues" is a swinging blues number with Wayne Schuster's saxophone wailing behind her. Like country western? Well, it's here with some rhythm & blues thrown in on "Friday Night," the other Ciofalo original. Her voice takes on the twang of a country western singer while Schuster's sax meanders down the R&B road making for an appealing confluence of genre. Up-tempo is represented especially by "You Do Something to Me" and, with a Latin beat thrown in, Abbey Lincoln's "Throw It Away." The latter spotlights the piano of Mike Capoblanco and the guitar of Steve Salerno.
And on it goes. Ciofalo's voice turns tender for ballads, soulful for the blues, and sassy for almost everything. Despite all the shifting, she maintains good phrasing, has reasonable range, and avoids intonation problems. The musicians brought into the studio to work with her provide admirable support for the singer and there are some interesting arrangements. At the same time, there's nothing earth shattering or ground breaking about this album. There are many albums on the market these days competing with this one. A burden Take the High Road must carry is that it offers a scant 38 minutes of music. Visit Ms Ciofalo's home page at www.jazzsingers.com/lindaciofalo.
Tracks:You Do Something to Me; Throw It Away; Friday Nights; My One and Only Love; I've Got the World on a String; Show Me; Time after Time; I Can't Make You Help Me; Lost Ticket Blues; Someone to Watch over MePersonnelLinda Ciofalo - Vocals; Mike Capoblanco - Piano; Steve Salerno - Guitar/Bass; Bill McCrossen - Bass Guitar; Ken Rizzo - Bass Guitar; Ken Hasler - Drums/Percussion; Robin Lobe - Percussion; Frank Bellucci - Drums; Wayne Schuster - Saxophone