Catherine Russell – Strictly Romancin’

May 9, 2012 / No Comments / Tags: Catherine Russell, Dan Block, Ellington and Strayhorn, Hoagy Carmichael, Lee Hudson, Mark Shane, Mary Lou Williams, Matt Munisteri, Strictly Romancin'

(World Village)

It’s not just the fact that Catherine Russell has a voice that sounds like a throwback to earlier singers (including a touch of Billie Holliday), while still being very much in the present, or that she phrases lyrics in a way that recalls a Satchmo trumpet solo, or that she brings a joy to the presentation of the music she sings. It’s really all of the above that make Russell’s latest, Strictly Romancin’, one of our favorites. The singer’s tone is further enhanced by wonderful arrangements and the talents of a terrific band, which includes Matt Munisteri on guitar and bango, Lee Hudson on bass, Mark Shane on piano and Dan Block on clarinet. The recording covers a collection of period tunes, which includes compositions by Mary Lou Williams, Ellington and Strayhorn, Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh, Hoagy Carmichael, and Lillian Green. Russell’s ebullient voice brings these songs to life in a whole new way with an infectious appreciation that is thoroughly pleasing.

Click here to listen to a clip of “Everything’s Been Done Before”.

Tracks: Under The Spell of The Blues, I’m In The Mood For Love, Wake Up and Live, Ev’ntide, Romance In The Dark, I’m Checking Out, Goom’ Bye, No More, Satchel Mouth Baby, Everything’s Been Done Before, Don’t Leave Me, I Haven’t Changed A Thing, Everybody Loves My Baby, He’s All I Need, Whatcha Gonna Do When There Ain’t No Swing.