Genie Grant

Love Me Like I Am

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The doyenne of Dallas jazz singers, Genie Grant has now racked up her third album for Dave Zoller's DPZ Jazz label. It is a tasty sandwich of standards and traditional pop, all placed within a musical wrapping provided by Zoller's fine piano jazz combo. The singer, entering her seventh decade, sings with verve, élan, and technical capabilities that a vocalist 40 years younger would be happy to possess. Whether singing "I'm Hip" by Kings of Hip Dave Frishberg and Bob Dorough, where she never lets the tricky rhythms of this anthem to the modern style get control of her, or a languid and melancholy version of "What'll I Do" with Mike Drake's brushes providing just the right touch in the background, she stays right on the mark. This would be a perfect vehicle for a 3 o'clock in the morning slow dance in an offbeat lounge somewhere. Grant has mastered the trick of using her players to her best advantage. Bass player Kerby Stewart kicks off "Learnin' the Blues," while Joe Lee's guitar has the lead on "I'll Remember April." Grant is one of those singers who will never enter that high atmosphere of great vocalists. But everything she does has taste, elegance, a sense of humor, and flair. Possessing a Peggy Lee-like light touch, her approach to each song she selects for her albums remains fresh and surpassingly jaunty. Not every CD needs to be "great," groundbreaking, seminal, etc., to be enjoyable. This one is enjoyable and recommended.

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