Cathy Chemi

You & I

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Cathy Chemi has a multi-faceted musical background having worked with personages ranging from Red Skelton and Jimmy Durante to Earl "Fatha" Hines and the Harry James Orchestra. Since one can't last long being a shrinking flower as a band singer, Chemi has developed a very powerful set of vocal chords and they are used to full effect on this her first album as the featured soloist. She has cultivated a mannerism that some other vocalists have been known to use, the use of a vibrato at the end of each line of lyrics. Chemi manages to use this effectively to put her imprimatur on the music. "I'm Old Fashioned" and "How Deep Is the Ocean" reveal a strong vestige of sentimentality. Sometimes, however, the vocal dynamics are somewhat stretched with too much room between loud and soft vocalizing creating too much of a strain on the interpretative statements for some of the cuts. "Young and Foolish" is one example of this characteristic where Chemi goes from close to whispering to close to shouting. She is much more consistent on a tune like "Love Letters" Nonetheless, each of the 13 standards on the play list get individual attention by Chemi. Her interpretation of the classic saga of a blundered love affair "Blame It on My Youth" is up there with seminal renditions of that tune by Chris Connor and Nat King Cole.

Steve Rudolph provides sympathetic accompaniment and gets a chance to solo from time to time which helps the session. Paul Langosch's bass is there, but often barely audible. What is heard shows a nice touch. A little uneven in places, this album is nonetheless more than a credible first CD and is recommended.

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