Wednesday, October 29, 2014


The new jazz singers aren't even jazz singers, they are ex-pop stars crossing over, with little else to do.  Your average rock hero from twenty years ago might still have a record contract, but there's precious little interest from their company, and indeed, most of their fans, for new material.  Rod Stewart can sell four million copies of retro swill covers of show tunes, but he gets off his ass and writes his first new set of songs in decades, and nobody cares, let alone buys it.  So what to do, 80's all-stars?  Bryan Adams is trying to cover the 60's and 70's.  Annie Lennox wants to be a serious interpreter of the old classics that speak to her.

These are, of course, the same old classics that speak to everyone, from Summertime to Georgia On My Mind.   But Lennox is an accomplished singer, and her voice was always the highlight of any Eurythmics project (aside from a cow in a video).  So this does seem like a natural progression for her.  If anyone could make the transition, and keep it classy, it would be her.  She does have a good way of stretching out a note, such as the "you" in You Belong To Me (Jo Stafford's, rather than the Carly Simon tune).  While the temptation on these discs is to cover the great female vocalists, Lennox mixes it up, with Billie Holiday represented (Strange Fruit), but Ray Charles (Georgia On My Mind) and Screamin' Jay Hawkins (I Put A Spell On You) also included.  That's another good thing about Lennox, she doesn't like walls.  Her lovely September In The Rain is a treat, an emotional vocal for a sensitive song.  I'm pretty skeptical about these covers projects, but Lennox is one singer who can deliver sweet dreams with these standards.

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