Susan Werner

I Can't Be New

2004-03-02

Susan Werner makes a foray into original jazz compositions with this, her fourth national release. It's great to see an artist stretch and grow, though the results are somewhat mixed. In many ways, this is a return to an early love for her, since she was playing in a jazz trio prior to beginning her "folk" career (inspired by a Nanci Griffith performance she saw). The voice is still there and her piano playing is outstanding. However, not all the compositions can stand up to the "great American song book", which her publicity material compares this release to. Hyperbole aside, this release does have some great moments, despite the inconsistancies. She's capably aided by Billy Novack, who assists with arrangements, jazz session players John Lockwood (bass) and Brad Hatfield (piano) and Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks.

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