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Melancholy Serenade

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Album Review

Chicago native Kimberly Gordon makes a huge impression with her debut recording as a leader. It's not just the singer's rich alto voice that wins over the listener, but her ability to communicate. Joined by pianist Chris Foreman and bassist Joe Policastro, Gordon's selection of songs is adventurous, mixing standards, classic jazz compositions, and even pop of the 1950s and '60s. Few singers bother to learn the verse to Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)," yet the song is transformed by her inclusion of this brilliant introduction. Policastro's fat-toned unaccompanied bass sets up her moving take of another gem by Ellington, "Ain't Got Nothin' but the Blues," in which she sounds like someone who has experienced the despair within its lyrics. She makes her voice sound like it has the wear and tear of a jazz veteran in her swinging treatment of "As Long as I Live," while playfully switching to a childlike chant for effect, then scatting to Foreman's Erroll Garner-like piano. Her approach to "Star Eyes" sidesteps the typical Latin vamp, as she romps through a straight-ahead bop interpretation. Most jazz vocalists avoid material like "Mr. Sandman," but her transformation of it into a slow ballad makes it work. "Too Close for Comfort" was a favorite of Ella Fitzgerald's, so it's no surprise that Gordon can't resist saluting the "First Lady of Swing." Many people think of Jackie Gleason as a comedian and television star, forgetting that he made many orchestral recordings as a bandleader. Gordon contributed masterful lyrics to his bittersweet ballad "Melancholy Serenade." Rarely does an artist sound so seasoned on a debut recording, this is yet another laudable CD issued by the tiny Chicago-based label The Sirens.

Melancholy Serenade, Kimberly Gordon Trio
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  • 199,00 Kč
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 29 September 2004

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