Carolyn Graye


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On this album of vocal jazz from Carolyn Graye, a Seattle resident and occasional traveler on behalf of the U.S. government, Graye sings with only the accompaniment of Jessica Williams on piano, giving the album a nice nightclub mood. The vocals are given just the right intonation to keep a smoky atmosphere in the mix, and the piano, while given a good deal of freedom, usually keeps to relatively simple riffing, only occasionally going for extended romps of arpeggios à la Art Tatum. The songs chosen are largely standards, though bits of newer material creep in here and there (while the sounds remain in the older styles, the lyrics present a more contemporary touch with references to America Online, among other things). Highlights include Ellington's later adaptation of "Concerto for Cootie" in the classic "Do Nothin' 'Till You Hear from Me" and Freddie Hubbard's "Up Jumped Spring," which both give Graye the time she needs to stretch out on the vocals to her full ability. While the album doesn't necessarily break any new ground on its course, it's certainly worth a listen, as it's a solid endeavor all around. Pick it up for another listen to what's happening in the usually overlooked but quite vibrant Seattle jazz scene.

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