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Becky Gonzales Hughes: Late Bloomer

Jim Santella By

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Becky Gonzales Hughes: Late Bloomer Spring may be a little late this year, but it's well worth the wait. Our annual surprises come in the form of little sprouts in the garden that bring flowers, little creatures in the forest who bring up little ones at this time of the year, and a grand change in the weather. Even little goldfish in outdoor ponds know the meaning of Spring and how effective its blooms are in altering behavior all over the world.

Becky Gonzales Hughes' decision to turn her love of jazz listening into a performance career comes as a welcome surprise. Surrounded by three talented friends and her husband, jazz bassist Luther Hughes, she steps up to the microphone with all the poise and confidence of an established veteran. The performance that she turns in seems quite natural. She's been contemplating this moment for quite some time.

Electric piano, acoustic bass, varied percussion textures, and an outstanding guitar landscape give Hughes all that she needs to make this session work. Her favorite songs are the unforgettable ones that we've carried around with us for a lifetime. The instrumental quartet gives songs such as "How Insensitive" and "Fly Me to the Moon" the power to run smoothly on cruise control. Together, they give Hughes a cohesive session that's filled with genuine sunshine.

"Shadow of Your Smile," a personal favorite, waltzes comfortably with an exciting underlying motion. She captures the song's original essence handily, while her partners give it an exquisite overhaul. The "Smile" never looked so bright.

"Young at Heart" lolls casually among the springtime flowers with glad feelings. Hughes paints this one with comfortable pastels, while her instrumental partners add emphasis. Ron Escheté supplies a memorable trademark solo that gives the song's lyrics added meaning.

"Only Trust Your Heart" comes alive with its poignant advice about looking before leaping, as Hughes delivers her convincing interpretation over a romantic bossa nova scene. Pianist Llew Matthews, no stranger to these lovely jazz standards, assists with a spirited solo that complements the singer's casual message.

This late bloomer has given us a recommended performance that draws upon memorable standards for its inspiration. She interprets them well. You'll find a pointer to audio samples from the album at her web site: www.beckygonzeleshughes.com.


Track Listing: Almost Like Being in Love; Lover Man; Fly Me to the Moon; I'll Never Be the Same; Meditation; Close Enough for Love; Young at Heart; How Insensitive; Love is Where You Find It/At Last; Shadow of Your Smile; When I Look in Your Eyes; Only Trust Your Heart; Every Time We Say Goodbye; Laugh and Be Happy.

Personnel: Becky Gonzales Hughes- vocals; Luther Hughes- bass; Llew Matthews- keyboard; Ron Eschet

Title: Late Bloomer | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Primrose Lane


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