Amy Cervini pays tribute to the late vocalist/pianist/composer Blossom Dearie by singing songs written or performed by Dearie. Cervini is not one to mimic Dearie; her voice is a rich alto (rather than the pianist's coy, little-girl voice), and she also has superb diction and a gift for interpreting a lyric with flair. Surrounding herself with an A list of supporting musicians, including pianist Bruce Barth, drummer Matt Wilson, clarinetist Anat Cohen, and trumpeter Avishai Cohen, among others, along with the thoughtful, witty arrangements of Oded Lev-Ari (who also produced the CD), Cervini works magic with every track. Cervini's playful side comes across in the breezy opener, Rodgers & Hart's "Everything I've Got," with a rich mix of reeds and brass and a lively rhythm section in support of her. Her mellow setting of Dearie's "I Like You, You're Nice" is heartfelt, beautifully accompanied by Barth, while she captures the subtle air of the late pianist/singer's "I'm Shadowing You" in a gentle bossa nova arrangement. Cervini's comic side is apparent with her playful interpretation of Dave Frishberg's "My Attorney Bernie," while her version of Bob Dorough's "Figure Eight" (written for the children's public television show Schoolhouse Rock) is dramatically arranged with eight cellos providing her sole backing. Another treat is Cervini's whimsical rendition of Cole Porter's obscure "The Physician." While there always seems to be a bevy of female jazz vocalists competing for attention, Amy Cervini stands out from the pack in her generation.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden