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That Old Mercer Magic!


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Album Review

Janis Siegel has done a fair amount of recording away from the Manhattan Transfer during her decades-long tenure with the vocal group, but this a rare opportunity to hear her with other vocalists outside of it. JaLaLa, featured on four selections, includes Laurel Massé and Lauren Kinhan on vocals, with each singer leading individual selections.; the core group of musicians includes pianist Yaron Gershovsky, bassist David Finck, guitarist Frank Vignola, and drummer Matt Wilson, with guests added or substituted on some pieces. The songs selected from Johnny Mercer's vast output include both still-popular standards and obscurities, with the supporting cast varying from one track to the next. All three vocalists join forces for a fun-filled romp through "Ac-Cent-U-Ate the Positive" and the neglected "Spring Spring Spring," both of which add pedal steel guitarist Cindy Cashdollar. Siegel handles both "Jeepers Creepers" and "Too Marvelous for Words" effortlessly. Kinhan shines in the breezy bossa nova setting of "My Shining Hour," while Massé delivers a warm "Moon River" which is joined in a medley with the less familiar "Moon Country," a sauntering chart that features JaLaLa. Only the lame setting of "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," saddled with the inane antics of DJ Sugarkone and a bland groove, proves disappointing.

That Old Mercer Magic!, JaLaLa
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