Cheryl Bentyne, vocals; Kenny Barron, Corey Allen, piano; Corey Allen, organ solo; John Patitucci, bass; Lewis Nash, drums; Don Alias, percussion; David "Fathead" Newman, tenor saxophone; Chuck Mangione, flugelhorn; Mark Kibble and Alvin Chea, background vocals.
Cheryl Bentyne, a Manhattan Transfer member since 1979, makes her debut album for Telarc on this splendid CD. Backed by an excellent set of musicians, Cheryl sings with an easy style that is totally unpretentious; and with warmth backed by a technique that shows her class. Opening with "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To", by Cole Porter, one of her favorite composers, Cheryl exhibits her pure melodic sense and shaping; also prominent is the driving piano of Kenny Barron. "The Very Thought Of You", by Ray Noble is given a delicious straightforward treatment, long clear notes, and incredibly sexy; she is helped along by David "Fathead" Newman on tenor. Cheryl can be skittish, playful, moving the sounds around gently, though she says she does not like to get in the way of the notes. The bebop tune "Farmers Market", by Art Farmer and Annie Ross is got at with some relish, "Talk Of The Town" is simply beautiful; and Billy Troup's "The Meaning Of The Blues" is an emotional tour de force, with a perfect piano accompaniment. "It Might As Well Be Spring" is given a Latin rhythm lift, and "These Foolish Things" is one of the best renditions I have ever heard. Cheryl has one of the best voices in the business, possessing a musical intelligence with an abundance of heart, which makes her sound compelling. If there is any man out there who does not want to take her to dinner after hearing this CD, then he should see a doctor.
by Ferdinand Maylin