Vanessa Rubin

I'm Glad There Is You: A Tribute to Carmen McRae

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This Vanessa Rubin release is a tribute to Carmen McRae. Although she cites McRae as a major influence, Rubin actually does not sound much like her and leans as much toward middle-of-the-road music as jazz. Also, not all of these songs are really identified with McRae (most notably "Send in the Clowns" which was largely owned by Sarah Vaughan). The ballad-dominated set does have a reasonable amount of variety, Rubin gets off some fine scatting on "Yardbird Suite" and she introduces an excellent original in "No Strings Attached." A variety of guests (including Grover Washington, Jr., Frank Foster, Antonio Hart, Cecil Bridgewater, Kenny Burrell and Monty Alexander) only appear on one or two songs apiece and do not make that much of an impression. However Vanessa Rubin's attractive voice is strong enough to carry the music and this release is a step forward for her.

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