Gail Allen

Sax and the Single Girl

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The title Sax and the Single Girl is a play on Helen Gurley Brown's book Sex and the Single Girl, but Allen isn't a saxophonist; she's a singer. Greatly influenced by Nancy Wilson but more consistently jazz-oriented, Allen delivers a CD that is competent though not very original or adventurous. Her primary focus is standards that had been recorded by jazz singers time and time again, including "Old Devil Moon," "I'll Take Romance," "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" and "I Thought About You." Allen's versions are likable, though far from definitive. The most pleasant surprise on this album (which was produced by Cecil Brooks III in 1994 but didn't come out until 1998) is an interpretation of "Crazy," a country-pop gem written by Willie Nelson that became a major hit for Patsy Cline in the early 1960s. "Crazy" works well in a jazz setting, and Allen's tasteful version makes one wish that she made unlikely choices more often instead of playing it safe so much of the time. Allen has the chops and the talent, but she needs to take more chances and be less conventional in her choice of material.

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