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Patrice Jégou: If It Ain't Love

Read "If It Ain't Love" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Listening to Canadian vocal artist Patrice Jégou's second album, If It Ain't Love, one would never think that she once was a world-class professional figure skater. One would also immediately discern that she and her similarly world-class musical partners have delivered a perfect-10 performance.

Surrounded on the opener by Take 6's Mark Kibble ...

Patrice Jégou

What do competition-level figure skating, classical vocal technique and an exuberant feel for jazz have in common? Only one thing. And her name is Patrice Jégou. Her new album, IF IT AIN’T LOVE - kicks off with a blazing a cappella rendition of “Lover Come Back to Me,” with Take 6’s Mark Kibble and Alvin Chea providing stunning, hard-swinging backup. From there Jégou leads us through a garden of delights — big-band romps with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, sensuous string-kissed ballads arranged by Jorge Calandrelli, artfully crafted charts by Mike Lang and David Paich, and much more. But Jégou herself holds center stage, whether on the intimate keyboard-and-voice setting of “It Might Be You,” the spare elegance of Randy Newman’s “Losing You” or the show-stopping “I’m So Glad I’m Standing Here Today.” And when sharing the spotlight with gospel diva Táta Vega on “Yes We Can, Can,” and smooth crooner Javier Almaráz on “Remembrances,” she delivers a textbook lesson on duo performance. What’s most remarkable is that this music might never have happened if not for one remark made in passing by a colleague of hers, not many years ago. She had already accomplished much before that day