Carla White has been one of the most expressive jazz singers since she emerged in the 1980s, though she has never been recorded frequently enough. This studio date finds her accompanied by old friends that will be familiar to owners of her earlier releases, pianist Peter Madsen (who shares arranging duties with her), bassist Dean Johnson, and special guest Lew Tabackin on tenor sax. Her languid bossa nova treatment of "Midnight Sun" is refreshing, while her impressive scatting on "This Can't Be Love" is matched by Madsen's boppish chops, with both pieces seasoned nicely by Tabackin's fine solos. Another fun scat vehicle pairs her with Johnson's bass on a fun-filled take of "Alone Together." White transforms the well-known "Love for Sale" into a narrative recited over Johnson's bass and Steve Berrios' percussion; it's surprising that this song didn't become a favorite during the beatnik era of mixing poetry and jazz. There are a number of less familiar songs that White covers with style: "Two Lost Souls," a song from the musical Damn Yankees (which she's had in the back of her mind for some time to transform into jazz) that starts in a bluesy vein before turning into a bop firestorm; a moving ballad "Bittersweet" (a Billy Strayhorn work with the awkward title of "Ballad of the Very Tired and Very Sad Lotus Eaters" prior to the addition of Roger Schore's lyric); and Richard Rodgers' intriguing "The Sweetest Sounds." Her one composition on this CD, "But I Was Wrong," seems like it could be autobiographical; it's a very expressive song about a woman finally leaving her lover in which she conveys her emotions without going overboard. Highly recommended.
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AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden