Fay Victor

In My Own Room

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This album announces the entry of another very good singer into the already crowded field of very good female jazz singers. Oh, that the male side was populated with comparable talent, in terms of both quality and quantity. Fay Victor dedicates her first album to jazz diva Betty Carter. But, fortunately, after the initial cut, "All Blues," where she honors Carter, Victor turns to her own unique style for the rest of the program. There are seven minutes of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Wave," where numerous interpretive avenues are explored by a twisting, turning, probing Victor vocal excursion. Much credit has to go to Pere Soto's guitar, which matches the intensity of Victor's in-depth probe of the Jobim tune. For that matter, Soto's exciting, intensive guitar playing, with its occasional soirees into flamenco, is a major attraction of this album. Since there is only one cut with a piano, his guitar is the principal backing for Victor. Just when you think the proceedings may be getting a bit too serious, Victor rips off a funky rendition of Horace Silver's "Sister Sadie ." On "I Remember You," she collaborates with the bass and drums of Hans Mantel and John Engels, respectively, for a new look at this oft-recorded classic. Engels is a longtime veteran of Amsterdam's jazz scene, having played with such American expatriates as Ben Webster, Frank Rosolino and others. Sticking with bass, Victor and Jos Machtel give a sassy musical salute the Cole Porter classic "All of You." Not just Soto, but all the musicians on this session provide sterling support for Victor's vocal adventures. Marc Mommaas' tenor opens "Skylark" with a modernistic rendition of that classic before Victor comes in on the vocal. He and Victor show their swinging ability on "Old Devil Moon" with Victor following with a very pretty "Every Time We Say Goodbye" backed by Walter Lampe's piano. On her first album, Victor brings it all to the table. Bending the lyrics, scatting, out of the ordinary accompaniments, funk, swing, and sassiness, she does it all. It will be intriguing to see what she does for an encore.

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