How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Australia's Janet Seidel continues to work magic on popular songs of the past, many of which have become standards. Like her first volume honoring the art of sophisticated swing and ballad, Seidel chooses to work in small group settings sometimes with sax or cornet added, other times with strings. When the sax is present, it adds a jazzy feel to the music.
There's not a bad track on the album. Each one seems to top the track that preceded it. Seidel and the group are that good. On "Poinciana", tenor sax man Paul Williams sneaks in jazz figures behind Seidel and the strings, creating interesting counterpoint. Another highlight track is "Lonesome Road" where the singer, Maree Steinway's piano and Chuck Morgan's guitar framed by the rhythm of David Seidel and John Morrison beget a bouncy, but as relaxed a version of this tune as one can expect to ever encounter. Seidel's unapologetic admiration of Doris Day is comes through with "Sentimental Journey". But there is no big band cum Les Brown here. Rather, it's another laid back small group rendering, this time bass, guitar and drums. Seidel is the vocal counterpoint of alto saxophonist Paul Desmond who was renown for his comfortable playing style and his respect for the melody line. The closest Seidel comes to vocal gymnastics is on "Slow Boat to China" where the ambidextrous Baker switches to cornet.
Seidel has cut eight albums for the La Brava label. Each are testimonials to her vocal artistry and this one follows in that tradition. Highly recommended.
Track Listing: Poinciana; Lonesome Road; Agua de Beher; Oh How My Heart Beats for You; They Say It's Wonderful; You're a Lucky Guy; It Had Better Be Tonight; Perhaps; Slow Boat to China; Spanish Harlem; Skylark; Always Something There to Remind Me; Button up Your Overcoat; You Belong to Me; Can't We Talk It Over; Sentimental Journey.
Personnel: Janet Seidel - Vocals/Conductor; Col Nolan, Maree Steinway, Kevin Hunt - Piano; Chuck Morgan - Guitar; Paul Williams - Tenor Sax/ Clarinet; Tom Baker - Tenor Sax/Cornet/Vocals; Ben Jones - Alto & Tenor Sax/Vocal; David Seidel - Bass; Billy Ross - Drums; Ian Bloxsom - Percussion; John Morrison - Drums/Percussion; Mirka Rozmus, Rebecca Daniel, Michelle Kelly, Anne-Louise Comerford; Rachel Valentine - Strings
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