Jane Stuart-Don’t Look Back

Some jazz singers attempt to manipulate the audience with wild arrangements or odd backup groups to give the feeling of ‘something new and exciting’ about jazz. Jane Stuart discards those unnecessary trappings and simply sings with a style so secure that everything falls into place. Her choice of songs on this particular recording combines well loved traditional numbers as well as songs we would never have though belonged to the ‘jazz category’ – such as the Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’ and ‘I’ll Follow the Sun’ (both full of heart and real soulful understanding), and ‘Who Will Buy?’ from Bart’s ‘Oliver!’, and the Rodgers and Hart ‘I Didn’t Know What Time It Was’ and Gershwin’s beloved ‘Summertime’ from ‘Porgy and Bess’.

Stuart opens her collection with a wonderful invitation to us – ‘I Just Found Out About Love – and I Like it’ – because what follows is a recording that is simply one of the best of recent months. Her style is solid, honest, straightforward, and yet she makes each song very much her own. Her back up collaborators include Rave Tesar, keyboards, Rick de Kovessey, drums and Emedin Rivera, percussion, Sue Williams and Kermit Driscoll, bass, Dave Stryker, Guitar, Dick Oatts alto sax and flute, and Frank Elmo, tenor sax. And on such tracks as ‘Bird of Beauty’ she throws in some special effects form her troops. And who can resist the spell she weaves in ‘You Are There’ as a guitar duet with arranger Stryker. 

All in all we are in the presence of an artist who understands it all because she gives us the feeling that she has been through it all, and that is something every real jazz singer strives to relate. It is all here.
Grady Harp for Amazon.com


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