Freda Payne goes back to her roots as a traditional jazz singer and nails it!
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
Forget "Band of Gold" because that was then and Come Back To Me Love is now! Big band and strings jump started with stellar arrangement from Grammy award-winner Bill Cunliffe have Freda Payne going back to her roots with memorable results. A versatile song stylist with a timeless appeal and panache that some artists search for over a career and yet never come close to what Payne has achieved over five decades.
Come Back To Me Love is the perfect storm with a mix of hard charging big band and contemporary pop with strings. Standard such as "Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry" smolder with a raw sensual delivery that moves the heart and enlightens the soul. The lyrical dichotomy is complete with the blues infused melodic fun of "I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water." One of the more stunning displays of Payne's immeasurable gift would be the duet "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most." Freda Payne doesn't sing a vocal, she crawls inside and gets comfortable. Originals penned by label owner Gretchen Valade and Tom Robinson are lyrically solid and were it not for a working knowledge of the tunes chosen then one might mistake these for deep catalog tunes from the Great American Songbook.
Hopefully there will be more to look forward to from the Payne / Cunliffe partnership. Come Back To Me Love is a sophisticated mix of elegance and style that will stand the test of time.
Tracks: You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To; Haven't We Met; Lately; Come Back To Me Love; Whatever Happened To Me; You Don't Know; Save Your Love For Me; Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out To Dry; The Island; I Should Have Told Him; I Just Have To Know; Midnight Sun; Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most; I'd Rather Drink Muddy Water.