Leah State

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Still Review

by Jason MacNeil

With an entire collection of traditional jazz and occasional folk standards to live up to, it would seem Leah State has a lot to live up to. Although the opening Blue Skies isn't the standout track, it's a good and steady beginning. It's the next track, Someday My Prince Will Come and the closing Lost In The Stars which immediately grab your attention, each with a smooth and sultry delivery. The tickling of the ivories by Craig Harley adds a nice touch as well. The musicianship complements the vocals easily, particularly during the song's bridge, with some Latin rhythm flavoring in the background. What is very captivating is how the singer's balance between smoothness and an innate earthy quality is maintained from start to finish, especially during the Cole Porter classic In The Still Of The Night. Although the ragtime hues on Cheek To Cheek demonstrates her operatic training in areas, How Insensitive evokes images of Kurt Weill and current singers such as Ute Lemper. The album's second half is more adventurous, from the melancholia of Tall Trees In Georgia to If I Were A Bell, with its banjo and Dixieland festiveness, the arrangements are daring but the pay off is greater.

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