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What a pleasure it is to hear an artist sing a song simply with no frills and a heartfelt and warm delivery. This is what Gloria Lynne has done on her new album, a collection of standards and a couple of surprise choices with a superb band of David "Fathead" Newman (flute), John di Martino (piano), Greg Skaff (guitar), Leon Lee Dorsey (bass), Vincent Ector (drums) and PJ Allen (tambourine).
Lynne is a seasoned performer experienced in lyrical interpretation with a vocal quality that gives her the necessary shading, allowing her to tell each song's story in a totally believable fashion. This she does in either two choruses of each song or the classic one-and-a-half chorus rendition.
The surprising material is James Taylor's "Secret O' Life," not traditional jazz material and done as a ballad, and "Can You Read My Mind?," one of the themes from the first Superman movie with music by John Williams and appropriate lyrics by Leslie Bricusse. The latter is a 'big' song, but is done here with a gospel feel over which Lynne can demonstrate her facility as the vocal builds. The remainder of the CD is an interesting mix of mostly ballads and a few lightly swinging numbers such as "Mountain Greenery" and "I Could Make You Care."
The di Martino arrangements are varied and never boring, each song approached individually and given only what is needed to back the vocal. He also displays a consummate ability to accompany a singer with just the right amount of tasty fills and a swinging solo on "There Are Such Things." Also worth mentioning is Newman's elegant flute on "Shangri-La" and Skaff's work on "How Do You Keep The Music Playing?" This is an offering that is wonderfully easy on the ears from a vocalist who knows how to sing from the heart.
Track Listing: Secret O' Life; My Funny Valentine; Evergreen; Wild Is The Wind; I Could Make You Care; Mountain Greenery; It's
Magic; There Are Such Things; How Do You Keep The Music Playing?; Shangri-La; Can You Read My Mind?.
Personnel: David "Fathead" Newman: flute; John di Martino: piano; Greg Skaff: guitar; Leon Lee Dorsey: bass; Vincent Ector:
drums; P.J. Allen: tambourine (tracks 6 and 11).
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.