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Stevie Holland: Restless Willow

Jim Santella By

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Singing standards with a clear delivery and a happy outlook, Stevie Holland gives her audience an intimate approach and a convincing, heartfelt persuasion.

James Taylor's "Sunny Skies" coasts along gently with a buoyant aura, allowing Holland to interpret its positive lyrics with a graceful piano trio alongside. "Zoot Walks In" brings an equally rosy outlook with jazz piano trio and tenor saxophone, but the drive of her interpretation glows with much more emphasis. It's the high point of the session, as Holland performs the chorus in vocalese and then scat sings in unison and close harmony with David "Fathead" Newman, bringing the song's lyrics to life.

"Stardust" and "Summertime" pair the singer with acoustic guitar. Elsewhere, she's joined by an ensemble that includes strings. The result is a lush accompaniment that complements her sparkling voice. Holland sings about romance with a passionate spirit. Musically accurate and emotionally warm, she paints an intimate picture for her audience. Restless Willow provides a lovely session of familiar songs with the genuine sparkle of Holland's voice woven into the fabric naturally.

Audio samples from the album are available at the artist's web site.

Track Listing: It Might as Well be Spring; Love is Stronger Far Than We; Summertime; How Long Has This Been Going On?; One Touch; Sunny Skies; Lush Life; Jeg Elsker Dig; Here's That Rainy Day; Zoot Walks In; Stardust.

Personnel: Stevie Holland- vocals; George Small- piano; Tim Ferguson- double bass; Kenny Washington- drums; Sean Harkness- guitar; Steve Kroon- percussion; Noel Sagerman- drums on "One Touch" and "Sunny Skies;" David "Fathead" Newman- tenor saxophone on "Zoot Walks In;" Joe Mennonna- flute on "It Might As Well Be Spring;" Ruben Flores- duet vocalist on "One Touch."

Title: Restless Willow | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: 150 Music

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