Barbara Montgomery

Dakini Land

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Barbara Montgomery focuses on tunes mostly co-written by Chick Corea for this ten-song set. The vocalist has assembled more than a dozen top-rate studio musicians -- including violinist John Blake and trumpeter Terell Stafford -- to assist her as she winds through a delightfully light, swinging repertoire, which includes a few songs penned by Montgomery. At times her deep-voiced tone is reminiscent of Susannah McCorkle, particularly on the faster tracks, but Montgomery is clearly an individualist. While no boundaries are broken, and the lyrics can get syrupy, the breezy sounds combine an upbeat lilt with good intonation, a strong command of the words, and an ability to infuse them with requisite emotion. Mixing ballads with upbeat tempos, the vocalist seems to be enjoying herself. The good recording quality adds immeasurably, as the deep sound perfectly captures the vocalist's qualities. An instrumental lift comes from especially form the trumpets of Bob Meashey and Terell Stafford.

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