Singer/pianist Champian Fulton makes an impressive debut with David Berger and the Sultans of Swing in this collection of time-tested standards, many of which have unjustly fallen out of favor. Fulton is gifted with an expressive voice, clear diction, and a great sense of rhythm, while Berger's arrangements provide perfect accompaniment. "I Didn't Mean a Word I Said" is a laconic ballad, but Fulton injects a bit of sass into it, even though singing pretty close to the melody. It is refreshing to hear a singer sing show tunes with the verse intact, which set up a song, but are all too frequently omitted when performed outside the context of a musical. Her playful side comes through in the driving take of "Just One of Those Things," following trombonist Ryan Keberle's half chorus with a bit of Ella Fitzgerald-like scat. The band's loopy setup of "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" adds an old-fashioned male vocal chorus to back Fulton plus a few humorous asides to update the vintage lyrics, along with an amusing narrative by Matt Hong. Fulton delights in "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens," a jive song associated with Louis Jordan. She moves to the piano for an intimate duet with bassist Dennis Irwin, accompanying herself in "You Turned the Tables on Me" and "Never-the-Less" (the latter a solo effort by Fulton). Champian Fulton will clearly be one to watch on the jazz scene.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden