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Kissing Bug

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Album Review

Acclaimed by the Glasgow Herald as "One of Scotland's foremost jazz singers," the sensual, supple voiced Alison Burns made a promising case for success on a more global scale on this impressive standards-driven debut that was produced by her father-in-law, famed jazz guitarist Martin Taylor. Based on her formidable talent and casually elegant way with songs like "Cry Me a River," "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To," and "But Not for Me," it's clear that the singer could have emerged much sooner than she has. But her background is fascinating, from singing in the school choir to becoming one of the first female mechanical engineers in Scotland to acting, doing voice-overs, to working as an entertainment lawyer. All of that life experience adds gravitas to the often heartbreaking emotion she brings to these 13 songs, whose restrained arrangements allow her smoky voice to stand out and feature Martin Taylor's breezy guitar harmony lines, and his son James Taylor on drums and brushes. Though contemplative ballads seem to be her forte, Burns shows spirited range on pieces like "By Myself" and "Too Good to Be True," which find her jaunting over much brisker rhythms. This disc plays like an infectious bug that should create a cool epidemic among jazz listeners with great taste as the 2000s progress.

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Kissing Bug, Alison Burns
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