Aimee Allen

Dream

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    5
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A nice little debut from vocalist Aimee Allen. Her sound is that of a basic, classic nightclub singer, but with hints of elsewhere thrown in. The majority of the repertoire shown off here is from the Great American songbook (Rodgers & Hammerstein, Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Mercer, etc), but there are also a couple of choices from the bossa nova tradition (Luiz Bonfá's "Black Orpheus" and Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Triste"), and a French arrangement of "Autumn Leaves." Given a previous stint as a jazz-bossa nova singer in Paris, Allen tends to slip into French for effect from time to time, but more importantly keeps some of the more stereotypical, smoky voicings that are often still present in foreign jazz clubs. The sole original composition here is a slow, loping number with some uneven parts, but it's not too bad. Allen can lose a bit of her vibe in the Brazilian pieces and pick some of it back up in the French, but her shining points are really in the old American pieces; Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's "Daydream" in particular comes out quite nicely. Overall, not the most adventurous vocalist on the scene by a long shot, but she's got a nice voice, pretty good phrasing, and an excellent backing band.

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