Alexis Parsons is an honest-to-goodness jazz singer. She has considerable vocal chops, a wide range and great time. She usually comes in right on or slightly behind the beat. Except when she does not. Which makes for considerable contrast and interest. Her sense of drama is apropos ("Organ Grinder" may be the sole exception, but de gustibus) and you often have the sense you are listening to an instrumentalist rather than a singer. Or to put it differently, Ms Parsons sings and the inclination is to play some choruses after her. One imaginesand only can imagine these daysgoing into a (Heaven forbid) small, dark and smoky club and having something pretty basic in the refreshments department. The two trios with which she plays are very well integrated into the arrangements, not just an afterthought, or an opportunity for them to show show off, although they certainly could. The entire package is pretty fetching. Some of the tracks are a little long"In The Still of The Night" coming in at over eight minutes. But that is the exception. Some people like long solos. Again, a matter of taste.
It takes some courage to make a recording of standards, because standards sometime meanor are said to meanno imagination. No. Think of this as an exercise in in "make something different of this, but different in a meaningful way." On the back cover, there is a distinctly unglamorous photo of Ms Parsons. As in what you see is what you get, an impression that largely matches the repertoire. Not glammed up, but substantively there. This is not your average publicity shot, and Ms Parsons is not your average singer.
Different listeners will have their preferred tracks. "Easy to Love" and "Weaver of Dreams" are outstanding, but she does "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" distinctively too. Yup. An honest-to-goodness jazz singer. Dark smoky club not included.
Easy to Love; I Didn’t Know What Time It Was; Make It Last; Spring Can Really Hang You
Up the Most; Organ Grinder; Devil May Care; Summertime; Speak Low; Gentle Rain;
Weaver of Dreams; In the Still of the Night.