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Album Review

With her vintage dresses and unabashedly sexy posturing, Lavay Smith evokes a bygone era, one when jazz was for dancing rather than for sitting and listening to, and when jump blues hadn't yet been displaced by rock & roll. The other thing that is unabashed about Smith is her repertoire, which on her third album consists primarily of standards — and not just any standards, but songs so familiar they border on period cliché: "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing," "'Deed I Do," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," even (heaven help us) "When the Saints Go Marching In." What can justify a program like this is any combination of the following: innovative arrangements; tremendous energy; a voice that either surprises or simply knocks down the walls; or undeniable chops. All of those elements are in evidence in various combinations throughout Miss Smith to You. Smith's voice is a very fine thing, powerful and flexible, capable of both purring insinuation and brazen assertion, and always full of joy. Her band is, if anything, even better: pianist Chris Siebert has created brilliant arrangements that combine comfortably mainstream principles of horn voicing with subtly crafty articulations and filigrees that tend not to assert themselves brassily, but rather lurk in the background for you to discover if you make the effort to listen for them. The three original songs are almost as good as the classics that make up the rest of the program, which is high praise indeed.

Customer Reviews

Always Love A Lavay Smith CD

I picked up my first Lavay CD at the Sony Style store in San Francisco (I think that it was during a JavaONE conference) -- many years ago. I would not call myself a huge jazz fan -- but I loved "One Hour Mama". Ended up catching her live at Makor in New York on 9/9/2001. "Miss Smith to You!" is not quite as good as "...Miss Thing" or "One Hour Mama", but I still love it. Hers song choices offer a little less swing that I like (but I am not a jazz guru - true jazz fans may prefer this one) -- as compared to "Oo Poppa Do", or "Big Fine Daddy". Still, the arrangements are stellar and her voice is just sooooooo fine. Well worth buying, I have it cranking through my Klipsch speakers right now.

Miss Lavay Smith

I've always Loved her arrangement of music and very rare to find an artist that put's out an album were all the music is good from start to finish. This album dosen't have the glow like One-Hour Mama or even Miss Thing, but there are some good songs here; With My Man, I'm Not Evil, Jumping in the Morning, I Ain't Got Nothing But The Blues. If your a fan or you've just found her purchase these great songs i promise you won't be disapointed. We have Tickets to see her live in Virgina at the Wolf Trap in Feb.

All I could give was 5 stars

Need I say more

Miss Smith to You!, Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings