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Suzanne Cloud: With A Little Help From My Friends

Jim Santella By

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Quite a unique outing from singer/lyricist Suzanne Cloud, who has long graced the Philadelphia scene with her talents. From the witty satirical message of "Hey Kenny, Gee" through the Cedar Walton standard "Bolivia" to the lyrical and expressive ballad "Impossible," this 1995 recording crosses quite a few boundaries.

As a lyricist, Cloud is able to capture the humor in different aspects of society, such as Talk Radio, the UFO watch, politics, the Kenny G versus jazz controversy, "Barbie & Ken" good looks, and much more. As a singer, she combines her vocal strength with the able backing of her "friends" to deliver the melody on target. Her lovely voice is best featured on "Impossible" and again on "For Tomorrow."

Cloud's strong alto voice, reminiscent at times of June Christy, pours the lyrics of "Impossible" out of a bottle, backed by her able piano trio. Tributes to golden jazz masters, "Bolivia" and "Dear Monk," convey appropriate feelings of respect along with the elemental nuances from history.

The instrumental accompaniment varies, and all are stellar "friends." Standouts include Denis DiBlasio's roaring baritone sax, Jef Lee Johnson's blues guitar sound on "With A Little Help," and bassists Tyrone Brown and Darryl Hall on "Impossible" and "For Tomorrow," respectively. The liner notes include the pointed lyrics, and several are loaded with satire.

In all, Cloud's latest includes something to interest everyone, and should appeal to a broad range of listeners.

Track Listing: Below the Beltway; With a Little Help from My Friends; Bolivia; I'm All Smiles; Hey Kenny, Gee; A Lullaby, Dear Monk; Collagen Lips; Watch the Skies; Broadcast Snooze; All the Fine Young Men; Talk Radio; Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams.

Personnel: Suzanne Cloud: vocals; Jef Lee Johnson: guitar; Denis DiBlasio: saxophone; Tyrone Brown: bass; Darryl Hall: bass; Jim Miller: drums.

Title: With A Little Help From My Friends | Year Released: 1997 | Record Label: Dreambox Media

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