Originally on Lookout and then reissued in 2000 on the Original Cast label, this session discloses Cynthia Crane's affinity for songs associated with smoky bistros; those blues dripping songs which are the stock in trade of a tried and true chantuese. Crane is a female counterpart of Frank Sinatra's image of a saloon singer, bursting with those qualities essential for singers who enter this musical arena. First and foremost, she (or he) has to be well tuned in to the story and events described by the lyrics to transport them to the listener. The voice also has to have the drama these songs demand. Dashes of nostalgia and regret always help. Crane has these qualities and touches all these bases on this CD. With her deep voice, on the mark diction, an excellent feel for timing, and the ability to pause for effect, she displays these qualities with perfection. Helping to pull off this emotional adventure are some of the best session musicians New York City has to offer. First and foremost is her regular piano player, Mike Renzi. Others helping out include the Leonharts on such cuts as "If You Could See Me Now," Jay on bass and Michael on trumpet. Bill Easley adds his soulful sax on four cuts, and is especially telling on "Blue Champagne." This CD is more than an hour of music that one would expect to hear in a darkly lit bar at 2:00 in the morning, or maybe in one of those all-night dance emporiums of yore by musicians with cigarettes dangling from their lips and half-filled glasses at the ready. No matter, Crane is a fine performer and her album of melancholy music is recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Nathan