Rebecca Parris

Spring

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Far from straight-ahead jazz, Spring found Rebecca Parris taking a quiet storm/NAC approach instead of embracing the type of hard-swinging bop for which she is best known. This heavily arranged session, which is basically commercial pop and pop/R&B with jazz overtones, received a not-so-favorable reaction from jazz purists, who saw it as a sellout. But the fact that Spring is commercial doesn't make it bad, and truth be told, this album is tastefully done. Parris sang with a lot of heart on her bop recordings, and she's also warm and expressive on an album that ranges from two Michael Franks numbers ("Alone at Night" and "Tell Me All About It") to Brazilian singer Dori Caymmi's songs "Spring" and "You'll Finally Understand." Bop hardliners won't be interested in this album, but those who are open to the idea of hearing Parris in a more commercial, pop-oriented setting will find it to be a pleasant, if less than essential, collection of mood music.

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