Marlene VerPlanck

“One Dream at a Time”

“Even by this singer’s very high standards, this is an exceptionally good CD. As so often happens, she has taken great care in her selection of songs, finding some underused standards, some forgotten gems from the past, a few delightful originals, and a handful that started life in or close to the jazz world. To all of this material she brings the musical expertise and understanding that has marked her work for many years.

“This is the first album Marlene has recorded since the death of her husband, Billy VerPlanck, and there are touches throughout, real and recalled, that reflect his importance in his wife’s musical life as her career-long arranger.

“Two songs, As Far As I’m Concerned and One Dream At A Time, were composed by Billy for lyrics by Leon Nock and discovered by Marlene after her husband’s death. Another of Billy’s songs is Quietly, with Ray Hoffman’s lyric.

“Also fulfilling expectations is Marlene’s choice of accompanists. All three trios are excellent, with good solos from all, especially the pianists, while the presence of an organ on three tracks brings an unfamiliar but very well-realised element to the singer’s work.

“As for Marlene’s vocal sound, the bell-like freshness of her voice is as good as it has ever been and she brushes aside the decades with ease. She sound so fresh, in fact, that it is tempting to think that there might be a Dorian Gray-like tape in the attic. But that suggests a pact with the devil and she is much too nice for that.

“This CD can be very warmly recommended, especially to the Friends of Good Songs, who might most readily find it through” — Bruce Crowther, Jazz Journal


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