Banu Gibson

Love Is Good for Anything That Ails You

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Banu Gibson, arguably the top singer in the trad jazz field of the '90s, not only understands the idiom but has a strong and versatile voice. Gibson is a well-rounded and good-humored entertainer, has very good taste in picking out material, and leads one of the hottest bands in classic jazz. For this CD, Banu uses her regular group (trumpeter Duke Heitger, Tom Fischer on clarinet and tenor, trombonist David Sager, pianist-arranger David Boeddinghaus, bassist Mike Karoub, and drummer Jeff Hamilton) plus rhythm guitarist Hank Mackie. The band often sounds like Fats Waller's Rhythm; Heitger brings back the chance-taking excitement of Bunny Berigan, and at one point, goes quickly from Jack Teagarden to a close imitation of Tricky Sam Nanton. Banu, whose roots are in the '20s, actually looks more toward the music of the mid- to late '30s this time around. A few of the numbers (particularly "As Time Goes By" and "The Very Thought of You") probably didn't need to be performed again, but they are more than compensated for by such obscurities as "Junk Man," "S'posin'," "How About Tomorrow Night," and "Wrap Your Cares in Rhythm and Dance"; on the latter, Gibson not only sings but tap dances a bit. Another highlight is "Me Minus You," which has Gibson overdubbing her voice to bring back the three-part harmony of the Boswell Sisters. Highly recommended to classic jazz fans, as are all of Banu Gibson's Swing Out releases.

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