Holli Ross

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She may not be a household name in jazz, but New York native Holli Ross has been around quite a while, mostly as a member of the vocal trio String of Pearls. That might change with this exceptional solo release, which sees her singing in fine style on a range of jazz standards, classy pop music, and some originals. Her slow, gorgeous take on Laura Nyro's "Wedding Bell Blues" kicks things off, taking the jaunty song into new territory. She injects a certain sexuality into "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me," and goes lightly Brazilian on her own "Forty Three After." Accompanied by a small group, with pianist Ted Rosenthal a standout, she's perfectly capable of casting a melodic and rhythmic spell, and is an excellent scat singer in the Ella Fitzgerald tradition. "If I Only Had a Heart" recasts the standard with an ache of loneliness, while "Tricotism" offers the best vehicle for her wordless vocal talents, something that really does help her stand apart from the pack. Ross arrives as a fully mature, complete solo artist, and one who deserves success for the depth of her talent.

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