New York-based vocalist has carved out an impressive career delivering impressive releases that have featured familiar jazz standards. Her last album featured a single original, and it came out so successfully that this time around she’s upped the ante by including all of her own work, save for the closing reading of Ellington’s “Azure,” which sounds all her own anyway. The mood of the album is reminiscent of early Tom Waits, sort of late night after hours at the local lounge, with Rappazzo weaving stories about women who’ve fallen between the cracks, their dreams and spirits that have been dashed, darted and woken up. Fronting a in the mood to be blue-d team of Pete Snell/g, Jack Maeby/B3, Richard Eames/p, Armando Compean/b, Lee Spath/dr and an occasional selection of voices and horns, Rappazzo uses her husky and earthy voice to weave warnings about vixens on “A Story of a Story” and getting some blues from the local VFW on a juke jointy “Second Story.” She can sound both around-the-block streetwise and vulnerable with acoustic guitar on “Love Make a Fool of Me” as well as getting fun and frisky on the roller coaster ride “Mercury in Retrograde.”
If you want some familiar flavors served on a new blue plate, check out this Friday Night Special.