Miss Midori

Miss Midori and the Jazz Inquisition

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When this CD was recorded in 1998, Midori was a regular weekend attraction at Olive a Chicago club that catered to swing dancing. Often looking like she just stepped out of a film-noir classic with Lana Turner, Virginia Mayo or Edward G. Robinson, the young singer embraced '40s-type swing and appealed to the type of youths who were dancing to the Cherry Poppin' Daddies and the Squirrel Nut Zippers. This CD finds her drawing on such influences as Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday with cliched but often fun and humorous results. The thin-voiced Midori lacks the type of depth that characterized those artists' most memorable recordings, and she doesn't have a fantastic range by any means -- further, she can be too campy for her own good. But the healthy sense of fun she brings to playful versions of classics like Fats Waller's "Ain't Misbehavin'," Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean a Thing" and Les Brown's "Sentimental Journey" makes for an entertaining, though unremarkable, session. The Chicagoan has competent backing in her sextet, the Jazz Inquisition, which includes saxophonist Jon Irabagon, trumpeter Steve Thomas, pianist Chris Mathieu, guitarist John Paris, bassist Joel Root and drummer Mike Jeffers.

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