ROBIN MC KELLE

Modern Antique

2008-09-15

Robin McKelle's second release builds on her debut, with more confident singing and more risk-taking in material. Yet I'm not sure the opener, Steve Miller's "Abracadabra," was really necessary: I actually think her reading of it and the arrangement is very good, but that wince-producing line -- "Abra, abracadabra/I want to reach out and grab ya" -- is not exactly Cole Porter. Some big winners on this disc are the standards "Comes Love" (I almost expect to hear Raul Malo join her) and "Lullaby of Birdland" and she does well on "Lover Man" and "Cheek to Cheek." Mc Kelle has become one of the best current interpreters of the American jazz songbook. If she's going to venture into jazz-ing up rock tunes, I'd like to see her follow Cassandra Wilson's example of choosing from WYCE's artists. 09/08 MJVD J-Contemporary (Vocal)

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