All too often, jazz vocalists make the mistake of limiting themselves to the most obvious standards. If they embrace the songs of Cole Porter, George Gershwin, or Irving Berlin, they'll automatically choose only their best known songs and ignore some of their lesser-known ones. But stressing the obvious isn't a problem on Cynthia's in Love. Joined by pianist Mike Renzi, saxman Bill Easley, trumpeter Virgil Jones, guitarist Jay Berliner, bassist Jay Leonhart, and drummer Gary Tate (among others), Cynthia Crane unearths some lesser-known pieces by well-known composers. "You're My Thrill" and Duke Ellington's "Day Dream" are among the few songs on this CD that can honestly be called standards -- for the most part, the New York-based singer devotes her time to interpreting overlooked songs that were written or co-written by such greats as George and Ira Gershwin ("Changing My Tune"), Sammy Cahn ("How Are You Fixed for Love," "Please Be Kind"), Peggy Lee ("I'm in Love Again"), and others. Crane's vocals are an intimate and enjoyable, if less than earth-shattering, mixture of jazz, pre-rock pop and cabaret, and Renzi's arrangements are consistently tasteful. Cynthia's in Love doesn't quite fall into the essential category, but if you're interested in hearing a collection of mostly underexposed songs by famous composers, it's worth picking up.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson