Jan Shapiro

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Jan Shapiro has paid her dues over several decades, performing and also teaching at the college level, though she is competing for recognition with what seems to be an endless, growing supply of female jazz vocalist. This self-produced CD focuses on familiar standards and jazz compositions, with good support from a band including pianist Tim Ray, guitarist John Baboian, bassist John Repucci and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. Shapiro's subtle style is a refreshing change from over-enthusiastic singers who overreach their abilities; she instead prefers to communicate the essence of the lyrics, occasionally indulging in scatting "Just Squeeze Me." Her arrangement of "Don't Be That Way" is a sensitive duet with Baboian, while she gets playful in the soulful take of "Sister Sadie." One can feel the longing in her interpretation of "Change Partners" and she wraps the session with a brisk miniature setting of "'S Wonderful." Jan Shapiro clearly deserves wider recognition outside jazz academic circles.

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