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Bird On the Wire

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Album Review

It was only a matter of time before the versatile New York club singer Joan Crowe translated her live show to disc, and though listeners aren't given glimpses of her much heralded humor, her soothing, crystal vocals do quite enough to enrapture even the hardest jazz cynic. Her sweet renditions of "The Way You Look Tonight" and the cleverly merged opener, "Fever/Caught a Touch of Your Love," establish her prowess with standards, but her flair for the dramatic — her background is acting and cabaret, after all — means that she can infuse swing into a classic lullaby ("Never-Never Land") and bluesy reggae out of an obscure Beatles number ("I'm Only Sleeping"). Her choice of covers is fascinating, as she works pure magic on the sizzling country gospel clap-along to Leonard Cohen's "Bird on a Wire" and rings new, deeper emotion on "Me and Mrs. Jones." Yet the originals are intriguing too, with her friend Tom Anderson's "Every Night I Sleep with an Angel" receiving an emotionally compelling pop-country treatment and Crowe's own "Petite Southern Woman" adding some rough edges around a playful country/jazz arrangement. The somewhat staid album cover may lead the listener to believe this will be a restrained pure jazz set, but Crowe's strength is in her versatility, vibrancy, and unique storytelling ability that goes way beyond the confines of being just another great jazz singer.

Bird On the Wire, Joan Crowe
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Pop
  • Released: 25 March 2005

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