You don't have to have an overpowering voice. You do have to know how to use what you've got. I fired this one up before I even looked at the label. First thing I thought while listening to Ms. Roberts' rendition of Bobby Troup's "You're Looking At Me" was driving along highway one, north from Santa Monica. It's got that great West Coast sound.
Ms. Roberts' voice is expressive, distinctive and stylish. "Sweet" is not the word, because I think that implies a certain innocence — and there is absolutely nothing innocent about Ms. Roberts' treatment of Mancini's "Slow Hot Wind," or Jimmy Webb's "The Moon's A Harsh Mistress."
Not the usual crowd of standards, here - but not too far off the beaten path, either. Names like Jobim, Bobby Troup, and a couple of lesser-heard Rodgers/Hart tunes join one original — "Before," penned by Roberts and long-time collaborator — bassist Harvie S — the artist formerly known as Harvie Swartz. It stands up well.
Message to vocalist-bassist combos: this is how you mix one of these things. S's bass is still noticeable, and a great compliment to Ms. Roberts. This duo works well together! Listen for saxophonist Phil Woods and trumpeter Lew Soloff, too. Good stuff.
Nicely done! Perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon.
Keep an eye out for this one. It's a keeper.
Three and one-half microphones (out of four)
message | recordings | press kit | reviews | performances | order | contact | links