How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Shelley revisits a theme that was present on her some cuts of her previous cd,"Music, Sweet Music". In doing so she pays homage to early blues singers and composers.
Her personal vision works exceeedingly well as she enlists a stellar line up of musicians to make it happen.
"Dark Shadows" opens the set and gets a precise on the money feel. Laszlo Gardony and John Blake Jr. get solo honors. Mr. Blakes' violin isn't what you expect in a jazz influenced blues. He adds to the mix a light and airy tone that is engaging and stylish.
Shelley makes you feel every note of "Stormy Weather". She conveys her feelings for the words and leaves no doubt this is her song.This feeling carries throughtout the set. Each song is entirely different,yet flows as one due to her insight.
Barb Lewis' "Hello Stranger" is a stand out, getting a upbeat push from Laszlo and the band. Drummer Yoron Israel and bassist John Lockwood are tight,working the rythym so Shelley has all the room she needs to sing.
This is a very strong set of standards that feels good. By combining a jazz influence to blues songs Shelley has accomlished her goal. Take a listen to "Do Your Duty". They leave no doubt they are serious and having a great time. Their collective talents are running hot, giving us an articulate take on Shelleys' vision.
Track Listing: 1.Dark Shadows 2. It Was Written In The Stars 3.Stormy Weather 4.Hello Stranger 5.Is You Is Or Is You Ain't 6.Nobodys' Business 7.Do Your Duty 8. Downhearted Blues 9.Strange Fruit 10. Prelude To a Kiss
Personnel: piano, Laszlo Gardony - bass, John Lockwood - violin, John Blake,Jr. - drums, Yoron Israel - vocals, Shelley Neill