Carla Cook

Simply Natural

MaxJazz MXJ 115

Carla Cook, vocals; Cyrus Chestnut, piano & Fender Rhodes; Bruce Barth, piano; Kenny Davis, acoustic & electric bass; Billy Kilson, drums; Steve Kroon, percussion.

Carla Cook began singing at the age of five in her Methodist choir and made an early decision to be a Jazz singer; as far as we are concerned, an absolutely correct one. She is an entertaining, joyous performer; her voice is clear, expressive and embracing. She takes us on a journey through swing, pop funk and blues, changing direction with flair and originality. The backing of Cyrus Chestnut on piano for eight of the eleven tracks balances a creative partnership and forms the basis of a great CD. "Simply Natural", the first track and written by Cook impresses immediately; her soulful, graceful style is enriched by the strong creative piano playing of Chestnut. She then swings delightfully through Ellington's "Tulip or Turnip" switching into a subdued and thoughtful mood for "Weak for the Man". Carla continues to offer different flavors for every track; the backing is perfect, and when Bruce Barth takes over on piano the quality remains. This is a CD where you could select a track to suit your mood. Highly recommended.

by Ferdinand Maylin

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