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Introducing Sunny and Her Joy Boys

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Album Review

This is a completely delightful disc, one that celebrates the Great American Songbook without adding any heavy interpretive or historical baggage to it. The arrangements are interesting: the project was put together by the legendary guitarist Duke Robillard, and he leads a quartet that also features guitarist Paul Kolesnikow, bassist Jesse Williams, and the brilliant clarinetist Billy Novick. All of the instruments are acoustic and the guitarists tend to play with an on-the-beat rhythmic chop that lends the whole proceedings a faint flavor of the Hot Club of Paris, while at the same time evoking the Freddie Green-era Duke Ellington band — especially when one or more of the guitarists plays single-note horn lines in harmony with Novick's clarinet. But while all of this fun stuff is happening in the background, the focus is on Sunny Crownover's sweetly pure voice. On songs like "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)," and a very gently torchy "That's My Desire," her voice is a thing of crystalline beauty even as she sings with the kind of straightforward simplicity that keeps the focus on the song itself — an exceptionally rare trait in a jazz singer. She's a bit less convincing in blues mode; her rendition of "Today I Sing the Blues" is just a bit too nice and doesn't communicate much of the song's intensity. But it's still a very pleasant performance and does nothing to detract from the overall brilliance of this gem of an album.

Introducing Sunny and Her Joy Boys, Sunny and Her Joy Boys
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Blues, Music
  • Released: 24 March 2009

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