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Album Review

Sue Raney, a top studio singer for years and a beloved, well-respected vocal coach, had not recorded a full showcase for quite some time before making this CD in 1997. Blessed with a very appealing voice, Raney is accompanied by pianist Dick Shreve, whose sensitivity is a major asset to the date, and, on six of the 13 selections, bassist Bob Magnusson. Emphasizing ballads that often have the theme of the singer being in the autumn of her life, Raney manages to avoid sounding dreary or downbeat. In fact, the joy heard in her voice (one knows immediately that she loves singing and that she has complete control over her "instrument") allows her to uplift and make fresh such familiar material as "The Song Is Ended," "I'll Be Seeing You" (taken at a medium tempo), "Over the Rainbow" and even the overrecorded tearjerker "Here's to Life." Other highlights include Shreve's haunting "Autumn In the Air," "Some Other Time" and "This Is All I Ask." Sue Raney's improvising is quite subtle, but even when she sings material fairly straight, her dramatic pauses and placement of notes make the music special. Available from the Spanish Fresh Sound label, this is one to look for.


Born: 18 June 1940 in McPherson, KS

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s

Blessed with a beautiful voice from an early age, Sue Raney has performed music ranging from swinging jazz and ballads to cabaret, middle-of-the-road pop and jingles. Her mother was a singer and a great great aunt had been in German opera. Raney started singing when she was four and a year later she first performed in public, at a party in Wichita, Kansas. Because a voice teacher could not be found for her daughter (because of her extreme youth), Raney's mother took voice lessons herself and then...
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Autumn in the Air, Sue Raney
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