Peisha McPhee

Out of the Blue

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When one applies for a job, sometimes the response is that you're overqualified. The same may be the case for Peisha McPhee. Her classically trained, strong, clear voice of operatic proportions doesn't always fit well with the songs on the play list, songs that require somewhat more vocal dynamics than McPhee gives. Trying hard as she can to restrain her powerful voice, she comes on too strong for such pop material as "Ill Wind" and "Little Girl Blue," which require greater subtlety than McPhee provides. At the same time, her voice and demeanor go well with songs that have a strong emotional tug, such as "Who Can I Turn To?" There's also a cleverly contrived dubbed a cappella duet on "Isn't It Romantic." But her forte is in the Gershwin material. "The Man I Love" and the Gershwin medley require the dramatic reading that a formidable voice like McPhee's can give them. Her sole accompaniment for this session is pianist, composer, and voice teacherMel Dangcil. Usually the concern is that the piano player may overwhelm the singer. Not the case here. Dangcil has to work hard not be swamped by the strong voice of McPhee. The result is that matters sometimes get a bit busy. McPhee needs more than just a piano to provide an adequate framework for her exceptional voice. For the pure pleasure of hearing a lovely voice, this album is recommended.

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