Cynthia Felton: Freedom Jazz Dance, Rebecca Sullivan & Mike Allemana: This Way, This Time

Here are a couple of ladies that take a completely different approach to singing, and both work marvelously.

Cynthia Felton has a golden and rich voice, range as big as the Grand Canyon and a vibrato that would make Sidney Bechet jealous. She’s done song books in the past, such as Ellington,etc, and this time she hits the jazz standards and beyond with a cooking team that includes John Beasley-Cyrus Chestnut/p, Edwin Livingston-Robert Hurst, Lorca Hart and a rotating series of other guests and cameos. Her readings of material here is creative and alluring. A version of “Take 5” that sounds more richly African than Middle Eastern, an amalgamation of  “Better Than Anything” with a Killer Joe groove, and a seductive “Close Your Eyes” are just a few of the highlights here. She goes comfy and intimate on a bass and drums take of “My Love Is” and enchants on a vibrant “Cherokee” that is charging like a wild mustang. Thrilling music all through the session, and solos by Wallace Roney and Ernie Watts here and there don’t hurt a bit!

Rebecca Sullivan goes the completely opposite route. She teams up with guitarist Mike Allemana for a series of tunes that sound like part of the Newport Folk Festival. Her gentle and cheerful demeanor could easily be in front of a band like Fairport Convention, and with most folkies, most of the tunes are about, what else? Relationships! Stories about distant loves in “The Shining Sea” or even marriage-YES PEOPLE STILL GET MARRIED-on a lovely take of Brian Wilson’s “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” She can also swing, as on the jazzy “Human Racing,” and coos with fragility on an intimate “You Are There.”

Felton Entertainment

Rhyme or Reason Records


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