Friday, June 6, 2014

Catherine Russell, Bring it Back

Catherine Russell gets my attention every time she makes an album, it seems. She is a singer's singer, with soul, finesse, dead-on pitch control, a great sounding voice and a real sense of style. She is a "jazz singer" in the real sense; whatever you might define in those terms, she pretty much has it.

So we have the latest, Bring it Back (Jazz Village). It's music that has that soulfulness and swing of the music of the later big-band era and into the early '50s when soulfulness came especially to the forefront. (And allusions to the earlier blues singers as well.) She's backed by an almost big band with nice charts that make me think Benny Carter.

There are welcome songbook chestnuts done her way, which is the only reason to redo them, please note out there. Duke's "I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart" is done to a "t". "Please come back sweet music, I know I was wrong!" Amen.

The backup band sounds great and Catherine sounds even greater, whether you micro-listen to every phrase-turn or just let her get to you in a big-picture way.

Everybody and their grandmother has reviewed this one by now I'll imagine. So I chip in my two cents anyway. When I get something good like this, time doesn't diminish it.

Catherine Russell is the real thing. We know it when we hear it. So please give her your ears.

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