Carrying the Torch…Kristen Miranda: Double Time, Libby York: Memoir, Anna Danes: Longing

Here are three ladies that are keeping the light in the window for someone…

Kristen Miranda’s got a rich mezzo soprano yet husky voice, and she uses it here in clever takes of jazz and pop standards. Featuring Joe Gilman/p, John Wiitala/b, Steve  Homan/g, Rich Lotter/dr along with Tom Peron/tp and Darius Babzaadeh/ts, this disc was produced by the late Bud Spangler and has a fresh sound to it, starting with a bopping take of “I Feel Pretty” all the way to the laconic and guitar accompanied “I Could Have Told You So.” She does a dreamy read of “Nice Work if You Can Get it” while getting into a nifty bop groove with Lotter on “All Blues”  Impressive piano work is displayed on the intro to “Where Or When” with Miranda bringing in the chorus at an original part of the song. She shows her jazz dna with a sleek “Bye Bye  Blackbird” while giving a clever read of the 60s pop hit “Ooh Child.” A frisky one here!

Libby York joins together with a regular team of John DiMartino/p, Martin Wind/b and Greg Sergo/dr for a collection of gently bouncing standards. Her tone is breathy and well travelled, and she makes it work on the stylish treatments of “Give Me The Simple Life” and the cozy and coy “I Was Doin’ Alright.” Warren Vache’ brings his trumpet and first baseman’s mitt leathery vocals for a pair of friendly by the fireplace duets, “Put it There, Pal,” and a fun “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” Guitarist Russell Malone adds some sensuality to the samba “My Little Boat’ and a relaxed “When In Rome.” Homey and unpretentious.

Meanwhile, Anna Danes debuts on this release with a collection of smooth jazz readings of a wide swath of material, from Broadway to Beatles to Bossa. Her voice is interesting in that it has a bit of a country/western flavor to it, making the mix with sambas such as “Meditation” and “Corcovado” quite intriguing. John Rekevics tenor sax adds some extra kick to “The Very Thought Of You'” and “The Sun Won’t Shine” while Danes gets a bit melodramatic on “Killing Me Softly.” A bit of an R&B feel to “Sweet Valentine” and an assertive take of “Something” shows this lady is willing to take some chances. Rougher than smooth, softer than hard.

SBK Records

Libby York Music

DLS Recordings

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