Sail Away with Me

Kerry Linder

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Sail Away with Me Review

by Rick Anderson

Kerry Linder grew up on the island of Curaçao, in the Netherlands Antilles. The daughter of a concert violinist, she was raised in a musical environment that was particularly rich in Afro-Caribbean elements, and that influence is on full display on this wonderful album. The program consists mainly of sambas, bossas, and uniquely arranged jazz standards -- such familiar titles as "Song for My Father," "God Bless the Child," "That's All," and even "As Time Goes By" are given soft and gentle settings that soothe and stroke the ear without ever sounding sappy or overripe. But as great as the arrangements are, what makes this album something truly special is Linder's voice -- and, as much as her voice itself, her delivery, which is mature in its phrasing and caressingly lovely in its tone. Not many singers could have carried off a baião version of Paul Simon's "St. Judy's Comet" (which will sound almost Cajun to most American ears) or a rollicking bossa rendition of "That's All" without sounding gimmicky or kitschy, but Linder does it and makes it sound effortless. More importantly, though, she absolutely nails the soft and sweet theme of parental love that permeates the song's lyric and animates the melody. It's that kind of emotional perceptivity that makes Sail Away with Me more than just another very nice Latin jazz album. Very highly recommended.

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