Wesla Whitfield

Nice Work...

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Wesla Whitfield has been called a cabaret singer for people who don't like cabaret -- and, to be sure, a lot of jazz fans who generally don't care for cabaret have found Whitfield appealing. Whether you consider her a cabaret singer with strong jazz leanings or a jazz singer with strong cabaret leanings, the fact is that Whitfield is a charming interpreter of lyrics. Those who find a lot of cabaret singing to be excessively campy and cornball needn't worry about any such campiness plaguing Nice Work..., an enjoyable cabaret/jazz date that was produced by Orrin Keepnews and finds Whitfield backed by pianist Mike Greensill, guitarist Gene Bertoncini, and bassist Michael Moore. Keepnews would be unlikely to produce anything embarrassing, and not surprisingly, Whitfield's intimate versions of standards like "How Deep Is the Ocean," "Thou Swell," and "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" are quite tasteful. Although this isn't the type of hardcore bop effort Keepnews would normally produce, it's a project that he can be proud to have his named attached to. Nice Work... is recommended to both cabaret and jazz fans -- even if they're jazz fans who insist that they dislike most cabaret.

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