135

Lee Stevens: Living a Dream

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Lee Stevens: Living a Dream This delightful album by Chicago-based vocalist Lee Stevens, recorded nearly ten years ago, serves as a conspicuous reminder that there are many talented artists in this vast country of ours who, through no fault of their own, are by and large unknown but would perform for an audience of one if necessary—simply because that is what they do.

Stevens has been entertaining music-lovers at Chicago nightspots and other venues for years because that is what she does, much like another impressive Windy City songstress, Hinda Hoffman, who, like Stevens, deserves to be more widely heard and appreciated. But those are the breaks, and climbing the ladder of success in the music business is typically more a matter of luck than talent. The market has a lot to do with it too, and the truth is there’s not much room at the top these days for singers who draw their inspiration from the Great American Songbook and cling tenaciously to the old-fashioned idea of substance over image.

If there were (room, that is), Stevens would perhaps be competing for a place near the summit, armed with a pleasing voice, clear enunciation and a natural sense of lyricism and swing. She is carefree and relaxed on this recital of well-known standards, belting or crooning as required and easily nailing every note, high or low. Stevens is supported by various groups ranging from trio to big band, none of whose personnel are listed and whose music (on some tracks) may have been electronically enhanced to broaden its acoustic base. There are a few fades along the way, but none that is bothersome.

While every song is well-crafted and enjoyable, I was most impressed by those Stevens sings with the large ensemble—“Can’t Get Out of This Mood,” “Lullaby of Birdland,” “It’s All Right with Me,” “Whatever Lola Wants,” “You Took Advantage of Me,” “Yesterdays,” “Mean to Me,” “What’s New?” Not that the others are less pleasing; I simply prefer big bands, and her anonymous back-up crews (including harmonica on “Mean to Me”) are quite good. Stevens is quite good too, sings like a lark with plenty of emotion, and Living a Dream is a stress-free flight from takeoff to landing.


Track Listing: Can

Personnel: Lee Stevens, vocals; other personnel unlisted.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Moonlight | Style: Vocal


Shop

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Metasediment Rock" CD/LP/Track Review Metasediment Rock
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 12, 2016
Read "Ed Calle 360" CD/LP/Track Review Ed Calle 360
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Happy Madness" CD/LP/Track Review Happy Madness
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 7, 2017
Read "Anatta" CD/LP/Track Review Anatta
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 3, 2016
Read "Centreline Theory" CD/LP/Track Review Centreline Theory
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 26, 2016
Read "Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!" CD/LP/Track Review Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!