Lynn Bush

Still Life

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The Northwest U.S. in general, and Seattle in particular, simply teems with outstanding jazz artists. Now comes vocalist Lynn Bush with her warm, contemporary approach to a play list of mostly familiar material. Bush and her confreres have turned out an album in which they share, in almost equal parts, the time allocated for this album to make each song their own. Marc Seales on piano, when relieved of the responsibility of providing understated backing for Bush's laid-back vocalizing, shows that he can turn out clusters of notes, ruminative runs, and sparkling gems of improvisation on "What a Way to Go" and "Like a Lover." Bush's voice is a marvel as it literally floats upon Seales' piano and Doug Miller's subtle bass as she puts her imprimatur on oft-played standards. "A Time for Love" in the hands of these performers becomes a memorable sonata for voice, piano, and bass. Bush's highly honed technical skills come through on "Dreamsville," which because of its quirky phrasing, is not easy to sing. Too often singer and accompanist can lose each other in the middle of this tune and it becomes a race to see who finishes first. Not so here as Bush and Seales show an innate musical intuition, handling it like they have been doing it forever. Sometimes the playing becomes truly surreal and the music seems as if its being sifted through a surreal haze as on "Lazy Afternoon." Bush is a true mistress of her art with her flawless diction and intonation. But more important, she is a singer who manages to give each tune a personal, intimate flavor in the manner of Jeri Southern and Irene Kral. Recommended.

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