Millicent Wood, vocals; Larry Blackshere, piano, marimba; Lenny Carlson, acoustic and electric guitars; Ben Graves, alto and soprano saxophones, Jim Kassis, drums; Glen Richman, acoustic bass
Millicent Wood eases in on her debut CD with a set of standards that go a long way to displaying her qualities; twelve tracks, none over long, that this lady can sing is quickly demonstrated with "It's Only A Paper Moon", and in "Moonglow" a good guitar solo helps Millicent to stretch nicely. "In My Solitude" indicates her good timing and a clear, crystal voice that can change in intensity through light and shade; powerful, controlled and rich. There is an interesting Latin take on "Melancholy Baby", which is allowed no melancholy at all. "Danny Boy" might seem a strange choice, perhaps a fall back to her church-choir days, but it is a vehicle for her to express her striking tone, and she does hit a most delicious top E. "People", backed by the splendid, but slightly too loud piano of Larry Blackshere again allows her full expression to sing from the heart, then through a rousing "I Can't Stop Loving You" to finish with, "My Funny Valentine". Ms. Wood is fresh, lively and stylish and it would be good to hear her venturing away from the standards into some new ground. Her backing group is excellent; though sometimes too dense and too loud; the arranging often seemed too strong for solo singing; a little sparing might have been more appropriate; but overall a very good CD.
by Ferdinand Maylin
New Sounds - CD Reviews