Gemma Sherry's Songs I Love (Tunley Records, 2020) is not yet a year old, and now she releases an extended-play collection of five tried and true Bossa Nova pieces, that like Songs I Love, did not require one more run-through, save for Sherry's exquisitely well-balanced voice and her rock solid accompaniment who supported the singer previously on Songs I Love. Sherry's treatment of these classic songs is breezy and light. She avoids a humid reading of these melodies, giving them all a well-scrubbed, accurately conveyed performance.
Her support is top notch. Bassist Mike Waite plays empathically with pianist Billy Woodman, the drummerless format intensifying the sound of all the performers. Waite favors elongated lines, melding one into another, playing even the piano, providing an attractive immediacy that compliments the singer well. Sherry recontextualizes these songs with her pristine voice alone. "Corcovado" and "Wave" are near perfect and "No More Blues" reveals an almost muscular character to the singer's presentation. Sherry sings with a delicate command, bolstered by Patsy Gamble's lithe tenor obbligatos. It is nice to be treated with such a surprise when not expecting it.
Dreamer; Meditation; Corcovado; Wave; No More Blues.
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