The Song Is You

Nicole Pasternak

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The Song Is You Review

by Scott Yanow

Simply known on the cover as Nicole, the leader is a fine singer with an appealing voice, a comfortable range and a natural feeling for jazz. She starts off her CD with a gutsy duet chorus (with drums) on an uptempo "The Song Is You," and her half-singing/half-talking rendition of Mark Murphy's lyrics to "St. Thomas" is quite fun. Her main fault is a certain lack of emotional diversity; Nicole sounds too happy. Her version of "Lush Life" is taken as a medium-tempo bossa-nova which is far too upbeat for the words, and she does little with "When You Wish Upon a Star" other than sing it straight. The rhythm section is fine in support; Charles Haynes (who also plays alto, tenor) is best on flute, and Loren Pickford contributes some high-powered bop alto solos. Overall, this is a fine debut for Nicole, who will probably grow more as a jazz vocalist once she has experienced enough life to really live the words she sings.

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