Cecile Hortensia mixes a gaul-like Chasson style with a dash of country and western on this mix of bohemia and Nashville. She delivers “Les Papillons dans L’Estomac” and “Vers Les Etoiles” in French language, style and attitude, with a Left Bank flair. Her delicate vibrato is quite alluring, and actually works well on folksy honky tonkers such as “Ray LaMontagne” and “Coyote.” Her wispy nasal deliver is well suited for the country swing of “Rolling Down the Route 66” while the haunting “Your Person” has some dark shadows provided by pianist/bassist Olivier Zahm, who is accompanies her on most of the tracks with Ryan Baker/dr and John rikard/pedal steel. Intriguing mélange of sounds.
Bright and shiny voiced, Toni nominated Valarie Pettiford has a delivery that was made for either the Broadway stage or a Disney musical. Cheerful, warm, confident and optimistic, it’s used to perfection on this charming collection of original compositions designed for innocent hearts and minds. Subtitled “A Collection of Original Lullabies” the disc has ear friendly and sensitive accompaniment by Alex Rannie/harp, Rand Landas/b, John Krovoza/cello, Grant geissman/g and Mark Converse/perc as Pettiford embraces your ears with delicate tunes like “Starring You” and “Sleep (A New Mother’s Prayer).” There’s a joyful spirit and a sense of wonder in songs such as “Stars” and “Dreamland” that will make you either remember your own youth or think of your own kids or grandkids with a newfound happiness.
Joan Watson-Jones teams together with pianist Frank Wilkins and delivers old school styled material. Her range is limited, but she attempts to make up for it with a bit of over dramatizing the lyrics. Sort of like having Louis Ranier placed in a modern movie. The styles of old vs new school are in a bit too much conflict, showing the datedness of the former. She as a hint of Lena Horne in her pitch, as noted on “Here’s to Life,” while she can get a bit playful on ”May I Come In “ and “You Talk Too Much.” Wilkins’ piano gives hints of Mal Waldron’s dark side on “Wild is the Wind” while a tender “Have I Told You Lately” is achingly fragile.
Electric Lotus Label
Goregeous Media Group
Eye of Samantha Productions