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Strictly Romancin'

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iTunes Review

Catherine Russell found her ideal collaborator in guitarist/multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Matt Munisteri, her fiercely swinging Americana-friendly musical director for this and her previous effort, Inside This Heart of Mine. On Strictly Romancin’, Munisteri also arranged all but four songs and is her singing partner on Mary Lou Williams’ easy swaying “Satchel Mouth Baby”. Russell shines throughout her forth album, whether deftly accompanied by Joe Barbato’s accordion on an inspired version of “I’m in the Mood for Love” or having a playful dialog with trombonist John Allred on a joyful interpretation of “I’m Checkin’ Out, Goom’bye.” The instrumentation of several numbers, including “E’vntide”and “Everything’s Been Done Before,” eschews drums and nicely recalls the clean style of Nat King Cole’s piano trios.

Customer Reviews

Fantastic voice and arrangements

I heard her first on NPR's Fresh Air. Her father worked with Louis Armstrong and her mother was a part of a all-woman jazz band.

The musician's affection and affinity for this music comes through very clearly on this album.

A great talent

What a voice. If you are a fan of jazz vocalists, buy this. You will not be disappointed. There's a clarity and purity to her voice that is unique. I love this album.


Just discovered Ms. Russell last month. Where have I been? She is now my favorite jazz vocalist, and I like many!


Born: 1956

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Jazz and blues vocalist Catherine Russell, a native of New York City, was born with distinctive bloodlines. Her father was Luis Russell, the renowned big-band leader who was born in Panama, and lived in New Orleans and New York City. He was a groundbreaking vintage jazzman -- a pianist, composer/arranger, and most prominently, the music director for Louis Armstrong in the mid-'40s. Her mother is Carline Ray, a veteran jazz bassist, vocalist, graduate of the Julliard and Manhattan Schools of Music,...
Full Bio
Strictly Romancin', Catherine Russell
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Customer Ratings