Jennifer Ryan

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Possessing and maintaining a jazz demeanor without straying into vocal theatrics, jazz and contemporary standards singer Jennifer Ryan has created a quiet and alluring collection of everything from Hoagy Carmichael covers to a radical and creative rearrangement on the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want." One asset is how the covers aren't as gimmicky as one may assume, possibly due to the care taken with each attempt. Accompanied by a small circle of talented musicians, the album rarely takes a wrong turn with Ryan's sultry vocals the forefront of each track, including "Springtime Somewhere." Most of the songs stick to the traditional jazz arrangements and formulas, but the swerving and constantly changing "Nature Boy/Afro Blue" is the album's centerpiece and deservedly so. A slight annoyance is during a few moments in songs where the backing musicians can be barely heard doing some scat jazz, but it's not enough to detract from the several pluses here. The title track is a good example of Ryan's solid delivery, toeing the line like many before her.

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