Clairdee & Moriarty Trio

Plugged In

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Greatly influenced by Sarah Vaughan and sometimes sounding a bit Anita Baker-ish in her phrasing, San Francisco singer Clairdee plays it much too safe on the conventional and derivative Plugged In. Clairdee (who is backed by the Bay Area rhythm team of pianist John Moriarty, bassist Ruth Davies and drummer Deszon Claiborne) has a likable voice and is pleasant enough on such standards as "Body and Soul" and "Just Friends," but what she lacks is any type of personal voice -- there's little to separate this disc from countless other Vaughan-influenced recordings. Not the least bit adventurous in her choice of material, Clairdee selects only the most obvious standards, and she brings nothing new or different to "When I Fall In Love," "'Round Midnight" and other songs that have been recorded time and time again. This isn't a terrible CD, but it's certainly unimaginative and unremarkable. With so many risk-taking female jazz singers recording in the late 1990s (everyone from Claire Martin, Judy Niemack and Karrin Allyson to Vanessa Rubin and Kitty Margolis), it's hard to get excited about Plugged In.

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