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Lisa Maxwell: Return to Jazz Standards

C. Michael Bailey By

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Track review of "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To"

Singing jazz standards will never go out of style; the songbook is too fertile, the audience too willing, and the erstwhile jazz vocalists (at least women) too plentiful. The result is a market clotted with a legion of releases where the signal-to-noise ratio is not favorable for the independent artists. But some worthy examples do rise to the surface, fed by deserved attention and fine musicality. Vocalist Lisa Maxwell fights back from the mouthful bilateral vocal fold paresis with surgery and the release of an uncommon collection of standards from the golden age of Tin Pan Alley.

In a mere 1:55, Maxwell—propelled by husband/pianist George Newall—slays Cole Porters "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To." Composed for the 1943 film Something To Shout About, the song has enjoyed a long and fruitful life in jazz. Maxwell's version follows recent conventional wisdom, where the song is introduced by a voice-bass duet, with the remainder of the combo coming in before the end of the first stanza. Rather than an on-the-beat 4/4 introduction, Maxwell's bassist hurries the signature ahead of the beat, giving the song a momentum of falling in its downward figure. Maxwell sings straight and in solid voice. Newall not only supports, but solos with a dense brevity that wastes no notes or time.

Before you know it, the song is over and it is apparent nothing else need be said.

Personnel: Lisa Maxwell: vocals; George Newall: piano; Unidentified: bass.

Title: Return to Jazz Standards | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Self Produced


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