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Amanda Carr: Tender Trap

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Amanda Carr is a Boston-based jazz vocalist who performs at Foxwoods Casino and Fleet Center and sings the national anthem at Fenway Park. She has two earlier albums, has worked with the Benny Goodman Tribute Orchestra and the Artie Shaw Band, and headlined the Euro Jazz Festival in San Giorgio, Italy.

This outing finds Carr with the John Wilkins Trio, further assisted by several reedmen and trumpeters throughout the album. The thirteen tunes are very well-chosen, with a good eye on just the right touch, mixing the known items from the Great American Songbook with some obscurities. "That Old Devil Moon" and Jobim's "No More Blues" are probably the best known.

Carr begins with the highly underappreciated "Never Will I Marry," from a 1960 Frank Loesser musical. She visits Rodgers and Hart's "Do It The Hard Way," which reminded me of Chet Baker's Riverside version from the late '50s. Likewise, she includes a nicely turned version of the Billie Holiday-associated "Foolin' Myself" and the upbeat Ellington "Tulip or Turnip." More and more, jazz singers seem determined to present their versions of Abbey Lincoln's "Throw It Away," and Carr doesn't disappoint with her take on the tune.

The supporting trio does quite well, guitarist John Wilkins providing both comping and fills with effective rhythm support from bassist Bronek Suchanek and drummer Kenny Hadley. Per a rather complex schedule, there is also support from three saxophonists, including the regarded Dick Johnson on clarinet and alto sax, Arnie Krakowsky and Jerry Vejmola on tenor sax, plus Rick Hammett on trumpet on eight songs. Their respective solos provide a lift on the up-tempo selections and add to the mood of the ballads. Other than the brassy sound towards the end of "Never Will I Marry," I enjoyed Tender Trap and look forward to Amanda Carr's next venture.

Track Listing: Never Will I Marry, (Love Is)The Tender Trap, I'll Close My Eyes, Do It The Hard Way, What We Were Asking For, Tulip Or Turnip, I'll Never Be The Same, That Old Devil Moon, Throw It Away, I Couldn't Live Without You, Foolin' Myself, What Am I Here For, No More Blues(Chega de Saudade).

Personnel: Amanda Carr,vocals; John Wilkins,guitar; Kenny Hadley,drums; Bronck Suchanek, bass with Dick Johnson, clarinet, alto sax (What Am I Here For, Do It The Hard Way); Rick Hammett, trumpet (Throw It Away, Foolin' Myself); Arnie Krakowsky, tenor sax (Tulip or Turnip, I'll Close My Eyes); Ernie Santosuosso, gong (Throw It Away), Jerry Vejmola, tenor sax (Never Will I Marry)

Title: Tender Trap | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Original Music Services

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