Vocalist Kama Ruby's sophomore effort Rock Dreams in Jazz is closeted in the respect that it contains only two rock songs among some sturdy jazz standards. The Eagles' "Hotel California" and Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon/Sister of the Moon" represent the promise of a set of "new" standards among the old. As provocative as they are, these newer songs do not come close to the transformation Ruby brings to "Embraceable You" and "Nature Boy."
This is not your parent's Nat King Cole "Nature Boy." This is a Samuel Taylor Coleridge opium dream setting for Eden Ahbez' warhorse composition. Jeff Rosburgh provides an airy cushion with an electric piano, a cushion exacerbated by Mark Meyer's breathy clarinet. Ruby's delivery measured and languid, like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz singing cabaret in the "pirate city" of Mos Eisley on the planet Tatooine (Star Wars (20th Century Fox, 1977)). Her voice is seductive and beguiling, stealing the show in the piece. Her "Embraceable You" is as out-of-this-world also.
Kama Ruby: vocals; Jeff Rosburgh: piano; Glen Fong: bass; Mark Meyer: