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This is the second album from singer Carolyn Leonhart, who also worked with the re-formed Steely Dan in the '90s providing harmony vocals. She is also the daughter of veteran bassist/composer and occasional vocalist Jay Leonhart.
The album alternates between originals and standards. Leonhart has a definite edge to her delivery, only letting her guard down on the second, and preferred, half of this album. On the opening original "Noneday," I hear traces of Sheila Jordan in Leonhart's vocal. Her performance is spurred on by tenor saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, who contributes several gritty solos and obbligatos on "Noneday" and the Benny Golson tune "Whisper Not." The latter tune is taken for a more aggressive delivery than we're used to hearing.
Beginning with Billy Strayhorn's "Daydream," including an opening verse, there is a more shaded aspect to her vocals. On "If I Should Lose You," Leonhart wisely plays to the lyricism of words and music and features a long piano solo from Rick Germanson. An original, "Home," Jobim's "Photograph," and a low key "Moonriver" are far more introspective and effective. Strong playing by bassist Hans Glawischnig is another highlight of the album.
Track Listing: Noneday, I'm In The Mood For Love, No Moonlight, Sometimes I Think, Whisper Not, Daydream, If I Should Lose You, Home, Photograph, Moonriver.
Personnel: Carolyn Leonhart,vocals; Wayne Escoffery, tenor sax; Rick Germanson, piano; Hans Glawischnig, bass; Donald Edwards or Jason Brown, drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.