Maureen Christine

My Romance

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Maureen Christine is very active musically in the Chicago area, with gigs at jazz and cabaret clubs, engagements with Chicago-based big bands, and other various and sundry activities. While this is not her first album, it is her first with the LML label. She has what is usually called a musical comedy voice and style a la Julie Andrews, allowing her to really blast out a tune, as with "Georgia." Her singing goes beyond discerning phrasing, good diction, and staying in tune. She can be as emotional as anyone when delivering the words for the eight standards on the play list. (She wrote the remaining tune.) Big-band leader Frank Mantooth is on piano and provides solid backing, as does the soulful tenor of veteran Pete Christlieb, which contrasts with Christine's pristine voice. However, he and Christine connect on "I Only Have Eyes for You." But as the album moves from track to track, one realizes that everything is being played with the same pace -- slow. There is no mid-tempo and up-tempo material on this album at all, and it's sorely missed. A few rays of sunshine are needed to break up the dark mood created by the ballads. With Mantooth and Christlieb on site, including a swinger or two would have been a snap. Mantooth tries to break the mood with a chorus on "Someone to Watch Over Me," but once Christine returns, it gets solemn again. Christine has a fine voice, but she needs to mix up the play bill a little next time out.

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