The stellar A Touch of the Blues pairs Lee Wiley with an exceptional band led by trumpeter Billy Butterfield, whose warm, beautiful tone proves a sympathetic counterpoint to Al Cohn and Bill Finegan's otherwise dark, melancholy arrangements. While a title like A Touch of the Blues guarantees the listener few surprises, the album consistently avoids the familiar bluesy clichés -- Wiley's sensuality and sophistication suggest emotional depths to make such gestures redundant anyway. And like her more celebrated songbook sessions, the material here is expertly selected, complementing Wiley's inherent strengths while affording her the latitude to stretch out in new directions.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny