"My Baby Just Cares for Me" and "That Old Black Magic" represent Leigh's entry to the great American songbook. Her delivery is highly polished antique, without ever being too reverent. "Cow Cow Boogie" gets into Lebo's Western Swing area, while "So Danco Samba" is Leigh's effective Latin nod. "Someday Baby," a loosely veiled take on Muddy Waters's "Trouble No More," is a layered blues that is almost too processed, but is, nevertheless, very effective. The guitars are thick and sinewy, the horns smoky and swinging.
But it is a different American Songbook, the one originating in Nashville and Austin rather than New York City and Los Angeles. Leigh and her find band transform the Patsy Cline standards "Crazy" and "Walkin' After Midnight," and Bobbie Gentry's "Ode to Billie Joe," into brisk Western Swing that complements "Cow Cow Boogie" very well. Leigh's rich and resonant alto infuses these songs with a dense, sensuous base, fecund and organic. The mood is not necessarily silky, but is, indeed, something else.
Track Listing: My Baby Just Cares For Me; That Old Black Magic; Cow Cow Boogie;
So Dance Samba; Someday Baby; Crazy; I Will; Ode To Billie Jo; Walkin'
After Midnight; You'll Never Walk Alone.
Personnel: Birdie Leigh: vocals; Kevin Chown: upright and electric bass; Avi Sills:
drums and percussion; Jeff Marshall: electric and acoustic guitars;
Quetzal Guerrero: violin; Paulie Cerra: tenor, baritone and alto
saxophones; Bill Steinway: piano, Fender Rhodes and keyboards.
I love jazz because it's sophisticated, international, atmospheric yet free, cool and warm.
I was first exposed to jazz through the sultry voice and flawless swing of my mother.
I met Mark Murphy, David Linx, Kurt Elling, and Youn Sun Nah.
The best show I ever attended was Youn Sun Nah in Paris.
The first jazz record I bought was Native Dancer by Wayne Shorter and Milton Nascimento
My advice to new listeners: open your mind and your ears, forget about structure, feel the textures.
Go see live music and keep buying CDs!