Sue Raney

Ridin' High

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For her second album, Sue Raney teams with a quartet headed by modern jazz player Bob Florence. Raney has a marvelous, sparkling voice that she applies to a play list of both familiar and unfamiliar up-tempo material and ballads. This singer is equipped with outstanding range and excellent diction, along with an ability to make subtle adjustments in the spacing and timing of lyrical phases, giving each tune a unique interpretation. With her flexibility and knowledge of the relevant forms of the popular/jazz songbook, Raney can go from a tender, knowing rendition of the classic "Stardust" to Michael Franks' modern, slightly fantastical "Baseball" and then right over to a lilting "I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart" without losing any vocal credibility. She handles each with equal facility. Raney is fortunate to have high-caliber partners on this undertaking. "Pure Imagination" features Florence's keyboards, as he inserts a quote from "Brazil," and the fl├╝gelhorn of Carmen Fanzone. The dulcet bass timbre of Bob Magnusson is highlighted on such cuts as "Tea for Two" and especially on "No More Blues." Ridin' High is an auspicious follow-up to her maiden album, Breathless. Fortunately, the LP has been transferred to CD; it is worth searching for.

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