Anne Ducros brings sexy back to vocal jazz.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
I have to admit that releases built around the Great American Songbook or tunes that are reasonably close are dated, predictable and profoundly uninspiring...Anne Ducros changes all that. The conceptual nature of this release is wrapped up in the songs of and associated with Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald. Another confession, tunes associated with Marilyn Monroe had me a bit worried. Sometimes preconceived notions can be a critics worst enemy as Anne Ducros and her formidable 4tet put forth a program of depth, clarity and arrangements that are imaginative while leaving some of the greatest melodies of our time firmly in check.
The set list while predictable is reinvented with a slight contemporary flair that causes one to immediately take notice. "Summertime" along with "I Wanna Be Loved By You" and "It Don't Mean A Thing" showcase the range and chameleon like ability of Ducros to adapt to a wide variety of tunes while maintaining a delightful ebb and flow of lyrical cohesion. Ducros has a warmth to her voice and that slight smoky finish that borders on the intoxicating at times.
The band is serious. Great arrangements, a true working band style as opposed to the more traditional vocalist with four after thoughts. While I have reviewed more than my fair share of "standards" there is no doubt that Anne Ducros is an artist I will be keeping an eye on in the future.
A spectacular effort!
Tracks: You'd Be Surprised; My Heart Belongs To Daddy; Summertime; Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most; Either Way; But Not For Me; You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To; A Fine Romance; Thou Swell; I Wanna Be Loved By You; I'm Through With Love; Diamonds Are The Girl's Best Friend; Laura; Dindi; It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing).
Personnel: Anne Ducros: Vocals; Benoit de Mesmay: Piano; Maxime Blesin: Guitars, Percussion; Bruno Castelucci: Drums.
Guests: Mamani Keita, Emmanuel Bex, Renato Martins, Antoine Pierre, Olivier Louvel; Anna Paula Fernandes, Afy Lomama, Olivier Temine.
Special thanks to Michael Bloom / Michael Bloom Media Relations