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Ladies Sing For Lovers

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Album Review

The late Frank Mantooth was best known for his swinging big-band arrangements. For what would be his final major project, Mantooth arranged a dozen love songs for a string orchestra, featuring 12 talented female jazz singers on a tune apiece. The results are rather light on jazz with just occasional brief solos, usually from saxophonist Kim Park, and not much improvising from the singers. The vocalists generally stick close to the melodies while the strings and horns play unadventurous parts. Due to the quality of the singers, some of the performances are touching, particularly Karrin Allyson on "If You Could See Me Now," Margaret Carlson on "Good Morning Heartache," and Rebecca Parris during "Imagination," while Diane Schuur's wide range and powerful voice rather overwhelm "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good)." But overall, this ambitious outing is much safer than expected and a slight disappointment. Considering the singers, Mantooth's abilities, and the excellent musicians, one would expect more surprises and adventure.

Ladies Sing For Lovers, Frank Mantooth Jazz Orchestra
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