Chris McNulty

Time for Love

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    6
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Chris McNulty works her way convincingly through a set of 12 standards, backed by a powerhouse combo including pianist John Hicks, bassist Harvie Swartz, guitarist Peter Leitch, drummer Tony Reedus and alto saxophonist Gary Bartz. The latter, in particular, adds needed punch and sparks the band. For the most part, McNulty plays it safe, effortlessly navigating the themes with a nice, light touch. Occasionally a bit slick, and with a tendency to ignore the meanings of the songs she sings, she nevertheless displays an overall jazzy touch, with a well-developed and mature style. McNulty knows how to squeeze the ballads for emotional impact, and she is often effective on the up-tempo numbers. Her version of "Centerpiece" recalls Annie Ross, and touches of Sarah Vaughn seep through as well.

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