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Close to You

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Album Review

Just reading the track list will likely make the more cynical jazz fan cringe and moan inwardly. Aside from a trio of originals, the set list of Close to You consists of overly familiar ballad standards ranging from Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood" to the Beatles' "And I Love Her" and Burt Bacharach's legendarily sappy title track. Never fear, however: this is not an album of boring supper-club faux jazz. Fond though Katrine Madsen is of sentimental ballads like "The Very Thought of You," she's fearless about messing with the familiar and well-loved melodies: her rhythmically varied take on "The Look of Love" won't lead anyone to compare her to Patty Waters, but she'd likely get heckled by some drunk in the audience at the Cocoanut Grove, probably with that old standby "Hey, if you get near a tune, sing it!" Madsen's backing, a simple piano trio, stays unobtrusively in the background throughout, providing elegant but somewhat anonymous backing while leaving the focus entirely on her rich and appealing voice.

Close to You, Katrine Madsen
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