Thursday, September 13, 2012

New CDs from Halie Loren and Ranee Lee

An up and coming jazz artist and a well loved Canadian jazz icon - what a treat to receive these two recordings in the mail recently.

As you may know I am a big fan of Halie's - please go and see her live at Hugh's Room as part of Jazz FM's cabaret series in October - her warm and sultry vocals come across even better in person. This release "Stages" captures some of that magic as it is a live recording. She includes such standards as the wrenching"Cry Me a River" and "Summertime" and her own compositions, the yearning "Danger in Loving You" and "More". I was particularly delighted with the playful Caribbean rhythms on Pete Seeger's "My Rainbow Race" and a touching "I'd Rather Go Blind" made famous by the late Etta James.

Ranee Lee's album is a tribute to another jazz legend one Billie Holiday. "Deep Song" is like Miss Lee herself, a class act. Supported by such luminaries as Oliver Jones on piano, Milt Hinton on bass, Richard Ring on guitar and Archie Alleyne on drums, this seamless album should have your undivided attention and not as background music. Of note: a silky "I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone", a swinging "What a Little Moonlight Can Do" and  a beautiful rendition with Richard Ring's solo guitar on "Strange Fruit" - Ranee caresses each note on this and in fact every tune she covers on this album. I also enjoyed the sultry "Fine and Mellow". Miss Billie is smiling down on you Miss Ranee.

Both CDs are available from the Justin Time label.

I have a couple more CDs to review as well - Quadro Nuevo and Brandi Disterheft's.
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