Ingrid Saxon

Lot of Livin' to Do

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You may have heard Ingrid Saxon's voice on Polygram or Playskool children's records, some produced by Bugs Bower -- he of Bing Crosby/Burt Bacharach/Bobby Rydell fame -- but on her solo debut she puts her perfect vocals in the artistic setting where they feel most at home, gliding alongside the superb piano work of Paul Trueblood, accompanist of talent ranging from Diane Keaton to Marianne Faithful. The interplay between the two on Victor Herbert and Harry B. Smith's "Art Is Calling Me" is a textbook on timing, passion, and balance. Working with two instruments may sound simple, but producer Peter Calo, longtime guitarist with Carly Simon and the Broadway show Hairspray, elegantly places the performances where they obtain optimal effect. The mixture of pop hits like Michael Bolton's "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You," Melissa Manchester/Carole Bayer Sager's classic "Come in from the Rain," and Tony Hatch compositions Petula Clarke made famous -- the "Downtown/"I Know a Place" medley -- blend in with the Broadway show tunes very naturally. Kurt Weil's "One Touch of Venus" feels like Marilyn Monroe's tempting come-ons while the Jack Lawrence/Walter Gross classic "Tenderly" emerges as a gem waiting for a new audience to discover its timelessness. As John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band album made the empty spaces of sparse accompaniment exclamation points to his compositions, Calo and Trueblood do the same for the interpretation here -- giving Ingrid a platform where her many talents take control. It's all so picture perfect that if a Clive Davis put orchestration or the instrumentation that found itself on Simon & Garfunkel's once naked "Sounds of Silence," A Lot of Livin' to Do could educate a world in serious need of a fresh look at classic melodies. The multi-dimensional actress who appeared on TV soaps like Ryan's Hope and As the World Turns hits it out of the park here with ease and grace.

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