Arlette Beauchamps

Love Again

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A survivor of the Top 40 pop scene, Arlette Beauchamps has turned to jazz, where her considerable talents are put to far better use. Possessing a crystalline, classically trained, full-bodied mezzo which she never lets get out of control, Beauchamps addresses a song list of 11 classic and traditional pop standards with an elegant delivery, flawless diction, and phrasing with unswerving pitch. Some will hear a similarity to Sarah Vaughan, less the excesses the great one was prone to engage in toward the end of her career. Beauchamps also understands that the best way to carry off the familiar material she has selected is to sing it simply and with feeling. There's a minimum of swoops, shouts, and other excess emotional contrivances. She allows the natural purity of her voice to carry the day. Her vocal talents are highlighted by captivating arrangements and the presence of skilled musicians to help her present them. "'Round Midnight" is done medium-tempo with bass both fretless and upright, the major backing. Dan Krimm gets in a smooth solo on this cut. In Don Fagerquist fashion, Jothan Callins provides some muted trumpet noodling on such cuts as "Speak Low" and "Love Again." Gary Motley, whose piano anchors the backing for the singer, gets some virtuosic moments along the way, especially on an up-tempo "Let's Do It." Beauchamps' debut album is cabaret's gain and Top 40's loss.

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