On her third album, New York-based jazz/cabaret singer Catherine Dupuis continues to provide a well-balanced set through the use of prime time jazz musicians like Marvin Stamm, Ted Nash, and Bucky Pizzarelli. The album was arranged by her pianist, Russ Kassoff.
The Rules Of The Road gets off to a fine start with a bright version of the Cy Coleman/Carolyn Leigh title tune. After a quiet and rarely heard verse from the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic "I Have Dreamed," accompanied only by Joe Cohn's guitar, the ensemble joins in for a light bossa treatment.
Dupuis surprises with the early Chicago (or should I say Chicago Transit Authority) song "Beginnings," which she almost gets off the ground. About midway through this six-minute version, the tempo goes sharply up-tempo, Ted Nash gets in some alto sax licks, and Dupuis scats uncomfortably. There seems to a pattern in Kassoff's arrangements as relates to the tempo changes on several songs. Dupuis begins the Brodzsky/Cahn standard,"Wonder Why" in a mid-tempo groove and then goes up-tempo on the break to scat (more comfortably) against Marvin Stamm's trumpet solo, after which the tune returns to the original pace.
On the ballad "You're Everything," the track changes again midway into a flag-waver tempo and continues in that manner with a second vocal version of the lyrics, which are not as effective. The album closes with a lengthy version of the standard "Lonesome Road," which, after a downtempo reading, once again changes direction and concludes as a good opportunity for the horn soloists to get in some more work while Dupuis scats.
Catherine Dupuis has balanced the music on this session well. She includes several Russ Kassoff originals, a Gershwin/Arlen tune from A Star Is Born, and "Someone At Last"; she uses bossa vocalese on two selections effectively. The Lionel Bart tune "Who Will Buy" begins oddly with a what sounds like a Native American chant and some piano dissonance from Kassoff, which subsequently morphs into a blues vamp a la Miles Davis' "All Blues," serving as a backdrop for the tune.
The Rules of the Road, I Have Dreamed, Beginnings, Someone At Last, Wonder Why, I Remember, I've Never Been In Love Before, When He's Near My Piano, The Best Is Yet To Come, You're Everything, Who Will Buy, You Are All The World To Me, Lonesome Road.
Catherine Dupuis,vocals; Russ Kassoff, piano, arranger, conductor; Martin Wind, bass; Rick Cutler, drums, percussion; Bucky Pizzarelli, Joe Cohn, guitar; Marvin Stamm, trumpet/flugelhorn; Ted Nash, alto sax; Lawrence Feldman, flute, soprano sax, alto sax; Bruce Bonvissuto, trombone; Emedin Rivera, Roger Squitero, percussion; Dan Block, alto flute; Laura Seaton-Finn, Susan Lorentsen,violins.