Marlena Shaw

Elemental Soul

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Marlena Shaw's recording career has been rather spotty, with the soulful singer often recording inferior and forgettable pop tunes. Fortunately, her Concord releases (of which this CD was her second) have been on a higher level. For this date, Shaw is accompanied by pianist Dave Hazeltine, either Earl May or Terry Miller on bass, and drummer Jerry Jones; the first three numbers add the always welcome tenor of Stanley Turrentine. Not all of the material is equally memorable ("Where Do You Start?" did not need to be recorded again), but there are enough highlights to make this a worthy acquisition, including "Your Mind Is on Vacation," "How Deep Is the Ocean?," the 1920s chestnut "Handy Man," "'Round Midnight," and "My Old Flame."

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