Margaret Carlson

Once in a Blue Moon

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    8
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With crisp, catchy, intelligent arrangements by Frank Mantooth, Kansas City vocalist Margaret Carlson floats through a play list of 13 familiar standards and traditional pop tunes. This album was originally issued in 1996, but was refurbished for re-release in 2001.Carlson possesses a strong (but controlled) seasoned set of pipes as distinguished from the light voice of a naïve ingénue. Her personal vocal style marries the best of cabaret and jazz singing. The storytelling faculty of the former meshes nicely with the strong musicality of the latter. This expressive ability brings to each song an outlet for the emotions embedded in each of the tunes on the program. Her interpretation of "You Don't Know What Love Is" is poignant and yearning, at the same time accusatory that anyone could fail to understand the strong feelings which create the basis for love. Of the many outstanding tracks the CD offers, "That's All" is one that stands a jot above the others. Accompanied by mercurial fluting by Kim Park, Carlson takes this oft-played standard on an exciting up-tempo roller-coaster ride. On the Doris Day-made-famous "Secret Love," she engages in some Major Holley-type scatting as she sings into the bass of Bob Bowman. All of the players with Carlson make their respective marks at this session. Kim Park works on alto, as well as flute and guitarist Danny Embrey has his moments. In addition to his arrangements, Mantooth provides just the right touch at the piano, whether as accompanist or on his frequent solos. His sparkling playing helps to set the overall luminous tone for this CD, which is recommended without reservation.

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