How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
This Is Always is the self-produced debut of Rebecca Sayre, a transplant from Northern California who now calls Nashville home. Committed to a singing career since age 16, Ms. Sayre attended Belmont University, majoring in Voice and Music Business, and after a summer touring in Europe, she returned to the Nashville area, where she sings regularly in nightspots and jazz festivals throughout the South.
In this collection, Ms. Sayre performs a group of familiar standards associated with her musical idols, such as Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, and Anita O’Day. Her voice is light, refreshing and pleasant, with few affectations and a straightforward approach to melody and lyric. Of particular note are the sidemen with whom she has surrounded herself: these skilled jazz musicians and friends create a swinging cushion of sound behind her that supports her at her very best. Guitarist Bergeson and saxophonists Solee and Coffin are especially enjoyable. The liner notes suggest that a number of the selections were captured on first take, and it shows: the album has a relaxed, confident and comfortable feel.