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Lori Cullen w/ The Ron Davis Trio: So Much

AAJ Staff By

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Do you have a favorite song? A song you fall into whenever you are feeling deeply? A song that catches you off guard (or even in the shower) and carries you away? Do you have that kind of song?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have an entire album of them? Well, for Candian chanteuse Lori Cullen (and probably many others), this is that album. Captured in the studio with the talented support team of pianist Ron Davis, bassists Drew Birston and drummer Mark Mariash, Cullen has recaptured songs that have been both done to death and not done enough in her own innocent, open-eyed style.

From the "dingleberry" ditty "If I Only Had a Brain" to the far more cerebral "At 17," Cullen approaches each song comfortably but with appropriate respect. One of the brightest diamonds in this unpolished collection is a long overdue revival of Sesame Street music master Joe Raposo. Through "Liuttle Things," Cullen uises her miniature chords to examine life’s simplest pleasures. Among the other pleasures on this debut collection are a multi-tempoed take on "Eleanor Rigby" and a swinging roll through the Joe Williams standard "Every Day I Have the Blues." Though Cullen’s bright raindance through "Cherokee" gets a bit wild, Davis is able to circle the musical wagons and reign her back in, so, overall, it is quite an impressive effort, especally considering the fact that Cullen is greatly untrained. So be sure to pick this plum while it’s fresh because, as Cullen sings (and sweetly), the best is certainly yet to come.

Track Listing: 1. The Best Is Yet to Come (Coleman/Leigh) - 2:46 2. Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) - 4:37 3. The Folks Who Live on the Hill (Hammerstein/Kern) - 4:12 4. Cherokee (Barnet) - 3:02 5. At 17 (Ian) - 5:03 6. Every Day I Have the Blues (Memphis Slim) - 4:00 7. Little Things (Raposo) - 3:08 8. Gentle Rain (Bonfa/Dubey) - 4:23 9. So Much Larger Than Life (Nash) - 4:10 10. Don't Get Around Much Anymore (Ellington/Russell) - 4:54 11. If I Only Had a Brain (Arlen/Harburg) - 2:40 12. Two Sleepy People (Carmichael/Loesser) - 3:22 13. My Cherie Amour [*] (Cosby/Moy/Wonder) - 4:30

Personnel: Drew Birston - Bass, Ron Davis - Piano, Mark Mariash - Drums, Kevin Barrett - Guitar, Lori Cullen - Vocals

Title: So Much | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Cullinor Records

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