Irene Kral

The Gentle Rain

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Hearing this set of cool, restrained ballads, it is difficult to believe that this was singer Irene Kral's final recording and that she only had a year left to live before her death from breast cancer. Throughout her second set of duets with pianist Alan Broadbent, Kral is almost up to the same emotional level as her previous effort, Where Is Love. Broadbent takes "What's New" as a complex and introspective exploration. Otherwise, Kral and Broadbent interact on five ballads, including two by Dave Frishberg, and memorable renditions of "The Gentle Rain," "Something to Live For," and "If You Could See Me Now," plus a four-song "Antique Medley." Few other singers could interpret a full program of slow ballads and hold one's interest throughout.

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