Christy Baron, vocals; David Finck, bass; David Mann, saxophone, flute; Paul Bollenback, guitar; Graham Hawthorne, drums
A lissome lass, sort of sinewy. Her breathing is exemplary and unaffected by the ruin of cigarettes (we would guess). She's hip to a degree and her diction is revelatory in times like these. She has a nice way with a story, and interacts well with the musicians. There are a handful of "modern pieces" (Carol King and Stevie Wonder). Ms Baron remains in the middle range and her brief flights of stretching are done with control. "I'm All Smiles has been done by Streisand and Baron does not attempt to match the aforementioned lady's intensity. What comes out is a nicely wrought rendering especially when one considers that the part that one could more or less call the bridge is hard on the pipes. Moreover, this number is complemented by a smooth solo from David Mann. Bacharach and David get into the act, of course. "A House Is Not A Home" is a sad little number, with a pretty melody. Ms Baron does it justice. The highlight for yours truly was Mandel and Frishberg's "You Are There." This is a CD that will accumulate affection in our house. The entire set is beautifully paced. Let's hope the lady gets the breaks she deserves.
by Lawrence Brazier
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