Linda Ciofalo

The Take The High Road

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Now comes another entry on the expanding female vocalist register with New York's Linda Ciofalo's first album featuring a program of standards and contemporary pop sprinkled with two of her originals. Ciofalo exhibits a high degree of vocal versatility and flexibility as she assumes a variety of singing styles depending on the kind of tune she's performing. On Cyndi Lauper's contemporary adult pop tune "Time After Time" she assumes that disillusioned, bored-with-the-world stance that seems to characterize some female pop singers. Her own "Lost Ticket Blues" is a swinging blues number with Wayne Schuster's saxophone wailing behind her. Like country western? Well, it's here with some rhythm & blues thrown in on "Friday Night," the other Ciofalo original. Here her voice takes on the twang of a country western singer while Schuster's sax meanders down the R&B road making for an appealing confluence of genre. Up-tempo is represented especially by "You Do Something to Me" and, with a Latin beat thrown in, Abbey Lincoln's "Throw It Away." The latter spotlights the piano of Mike Capoblanco and the guitar of Steve Salerno. And on it goes. Ciofalo's voice turns tender for ballads, soulful for the blues, and sassy for almost everything. Despite all the shifting, she maintains good phrasing, has reasonable range, and avoids intonation problems. The musicians brought into the studio to work with her provide admirable support for the singer and there are some interesting arrangements. At the same time, there's nothing earth shattering or ground breaking about this album. There are many albums on the market these days competing with this one. One disadvantage Take the High Road must carry is that it offers a scant 38 minutes of music.

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