Lorez Alexandria & The Gordon Brisker Band

Dear to My Heart

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If one had to pinpoint Lorez Alexandria's most essential work during the 1980s, the obvious choice would be her impressive three-volume tribute to composer Johnny Mercer. But the vocalist is also quite appealing on Dear to My Heart, which was recorded at two sessions in L.A. in 1987 and was mostly arranged by tenor saxman Gordon Brisker. Alexandria, who was 57 at the time, is in fine form on well-known standards like "Speak Low," "Falling in Love with Love," and "Spring Is Here." Because these songs have been recorded so many times over the years, a singer who embraces them could easily end up sounding generic unless he/she has something personal to add. But Alexandria does, and it's a joy to hear her put her spin on these famous, if overdone, classics. Much to her credit, Alexandria also unearths her share of solid material that hasn't been recorded extensively, including "Zanzibar" and "Without a Friend." Dear to My Heart is among the many Alexandria albums that's well worth obtaining.

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