Janet Seidel

Don't Smoke in Bed

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Lounge and cabaret performer and all-around ace singer Janet Seidel's Don't Smoke in Bed honors the important contributions of Peggy Lee to the vocal art. Australia's Seidel doesn't stop at entries from the Great American Songbook that Lee liked to sing, and includes her significant contributions to that document as a composer. In addition to the title tune, "Don't Smoke in Bed," there are five more Lee pieces on the play list. Through her personal appearances and many recordings, Seidel is a virtual institution in that country down under. This album is understandably somewhat jazzier -- and a lot torchier -- than her previous release, which was a nod to another one her favorites, Doris Day. Thus, you have a swinging, lilting "Street of Dreams," a sassy "I Don't Know Enough About You," and a very smoky version of a Lee classic, "Black Coffee." Kevin Hunt and Chris Morgan on piano and guitar, respectively, add just the right amount of the jazz feel for this cut, especially Morgan's intense, smoldering guitar. Another interesting element added by Seidel and cohorts is that the songs are not just limited to Lee's big recordings, such as the always enduring "Fever," but those she sang in her early days with Benny Goodman and some from her movie work, such as the films The Lady and the Tramp and Johnny Guitar. As always, Seidel is backed by top musicians. In addition to Hunt and Morgan, reed player Don Burrows is on a couple cuts. Her brother, David Seidel, carries on with his usual bass duties, helped along by Adam Pache on drums. Seidel by no means replicatesLee's way of doing this material, but presents it Seidel style. So this release offers the best of two worlds, literally: Peggy Lee and Janet Seidel.

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