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With all the experience she has gained on stage and in cabaret, Lyne Tremblay has become an accomplished singer. She is at ease with show tunes (her credits include playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret and Cassandra in Cats.) and pop songs, but it is her way with a jazz tune that carves the notch on her pillar of accomplishments. Tremblay has an adept sense of phrasing, shaping the words, creating the right texture and capturing the moment with aplomb.
The songs here have an impressive range and include those written by Jacques Brel, Serge Gainsbourg and Duke Ellington, whom she picks for “Caravan” sung in French and English. Set off by a Middle Eastern sax sound and percussion, Tremblay brings in a seductive presence as she lets the song undulate and sway. With Scott Marshall adding some clean, inventive lines on the clarinet this turns out to be quite the delight.
Another attribute is the way Tremblay meshes with the musicians. They play along as she sings, adding an indelible adjunct, blending as one, interweaving voices and giving the songs a very welcome depth and groove. The Gainsbourg tune, “Couleur Café,” latches on right from the moment Guido Basso brings it in on the flugelhorn, his tone flowing in buttery richness and Geordie Haley taking it home on the guitar with a range of scintillating ideas. And hand it to Tremblay for her sense of timing and emphasis on the sensuous “Just Call Me Lovebird,” where the jazz landscape is extended by Marcell Aucoin on piano through a stream of rich harmonic permutations. The different sides of Tremblay are worthy of attention.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.