For her third recording (the previous two, No Regrets and Memories of Love's Refrain, were available only on vinyl and cassette, respectively), New Englander Patty Carpenter showcases a flexible, supple, sweet, at times bluesy voice that is childlike, full of fascination and wonder about the world at large, rarely forceful, and fairly consistent emotionally. Standards such as "Lover Man" and "I Thought About You" are done in typical ballad style, while "All Blues" and "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free" have the singer taking some chances, spontaneously inventing on the former, getting down on the funky latter. She really shines on "I Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues," coming out of her shell with some scat and curved inflections. "Black Orpheus" is done nicely in Portuguese and English, while the near-ten minute funky groove biscuit "5-10-15" shows a more R&B-influenced side. The lone Carpenter original "Across the Square," is similar to "God Bless the Child." Scott Shetler (playing tenor, baritone, clarinet, etc.) and pianist Tom McClung are excellent soloists and supportive accompanists. McClung plays the bulk of the program, and switches to organ during "I Wish"; Bob Hamilton is on piano for the remainder. Carpenter is not by any means an over the top or knock-down-drag-out jazz singer; she sticks with the basics. Hopefully, she will continue to grow and challenge herself with broader material, as she's a good singer, and apparently a pianist too (although she doesn't play the 88s on this CD, she's depicted in the cover art at the keyboard).
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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos