Joan Griffith

Enter You Enter Love

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Simplicity is the trademark of this album. This set of standards, Brazilian music, and four originals is performed in a straightforward manner without any fuss. The dominant musical theme here is the emphasis singer Lucia Newell and guitarist Joan Griffith place on all things Brazilian. "You Stepped Out of a Dream" is done as bossa nova with Gary Gauger's percussion providing the proper beat. The bossa nova motif continues with Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Estrada do Sol" and Luis Eça-Louis Oliveira's "Imagem." Three of Griffith's originals also pay homage to the Brazilian style with their Portuguese lyrics. Not all the songs are in the Latin mode. Griffith's "Nina" and "Enter You" are ballads. Lucia Newell works with a clear, vibrato-less voice with just the right amount of coyness to make her singing distinctive. Griffith's clean, non-chordal guitar playing fits perfectly with Newell's cool voice. But Newell shows that she can break loose, bursting out of her pensive mood with a swinging, scatting "How Deep Is the Ocean." Griffith and Newell do all but three of the tracks here as a duet. Bass players Gary Raynor and Gordy Johnson show up for "I Thought About You" and "How Deep Is the Ocean," respectively, and Gauger provides percussion on "You Stepped Out of a Dream." Griffith's guitar artistry is revealed on several of her solos, especially on "I'll Close My Eyes" and on "All My Tomorrows." This album typifies the uncluttered but passionate approach to jazz singing and is a welcome and important addition to the jazz vocal discography.

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