Jennifer Ryan

How Do You Feel About That?

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Possessing a great jazz voice takes a large amount of time, energy, and effort, and Jennifer Ryan jumps into this collection of standards with both feet. On songs such as "Secret Love," she exudes great confidence, but there's a slight amount of theatrics in her voice that doesn't do her justice in comparison to her rendition of Thelonious Monk's "'Round Midnight." Backed by a contingent of well-seasoned musicians, songs such as "Yesterdays" work best when singer and supporting cast offer give and take, with the chanteuse evolving into scat occasionally. Finding her range and capabilities on "You Don't Know What Love Is" as well as "I'll Remember April," Ryan's talents ooze easily from start to finish. Kevin Quain adds a vocal in the vein of Tom Waits or Dr. John during "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat," an eclectic track adding color and texture. Some songs don't get off the proverbial ground, particularly "Body and Soul," which emits a certain blandness as well as unnecessary background mutterings by some musicians, however subtle or brief they may be. Regardless of such slight imperfections, the album is a solid cornerstone for what should be a long and productive career.

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