Saturday, November 7, 2009

SWEET VOICE

Friday night is date night. I take my wife to dinner or to a movie. Sometimes I do both. Yesterday, driving to the Thai Bistro in Grosse Pointe, we listened to your album "Dream Dancing". The album had us in a trance. At dinner, my wife asked about you, and the rhythm section, which she really liked. I told her I heard you for the first time at Baker's Keyboard Lounge a few weeks ago, singing with the vocal jazz quartet Metro Jazz Voices. The wife said your voice is lovely, and your strength is singing love songs. On "Darn That Dream" and Sweet Dreams" you voice is satisfying as comfort food.

Meri, I think the wife is trying to replace me as the family jazz critic. My wife pats her hand on her knee when she is really into a piece of music, but while your album was on, she also did a little slow dance in the car seat, which meant she loved your album. Before we reached the restaurant, she had me replay "All Night Long" twice. Of the eleven songs on the album, that's her absolute favorite. I like the entire album. Tenor saxophonist Carl Cafagna and pianist Scott Gwinnell are good in their supporting roles. They are powerful players, but they don't overpower you.

This year, I've received many album my female jazz vocalists. Some were noteworthy, and others not so. "Dream Dancing" is one of the best I have experienced. I disliked the other vocalists albums because of the arrangements. They had string accompaniment, which overwhelm them. That's not the case on your album.

On "Close Your Eyes" and Corcovado (Quiet Nights), for example, your voice blends nicely with the string instruments like butter melting on a stack of pancakes. The eleven songs you chose for this album fit your voice perfectly. My wife asked if I had written about "Dream Dancing" yet. I said I had not because the album is three years old. I only review current releases. She said I should post a review anyway. This is a great album no matter when it came out. Then she gave be a short lecture, saying I should use my jazz blog to help local jazz musicians, and I should encourage my readers to buy “Dream Dancing.
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