Over the last year or so we’ve reported on the work of garlanded, veteran songwriter JANE MCNEALY and her ongoing task to make available her considerable music archive via her own Lo-Flo Records.
To that end Ms. McNealy and Lo-Flo have already issued in-demand items on Harold Battiste and Tami Lynn and for her latest project she has tackled something a little more ambitious. She’s selected seven of her favourite compositions (co-authored with Alice Kuhns) and had them recorded afresh by award winning vocalist MARSHA BARTENETTI.
Perhaps the best-known song amongst the seven is ‘I Never See That Rainbow’ which was famously performed by Sarah Vaughan. The bluesy song explores the theme of unrequited love and, indeed, all the selected songs here dig deep into emotional matters – frayed relationships, straying lovers, missed opportunities and much more – even grief. ‘Kite In The Clouds’, for instance, is McNealy’s tribute to her late father. Its jaunty rag time feel masks just some of the latent emotion. On that and indeed throughout the album, Ms Bartenetti delivers with just the right amount of subtlety and depth, betraying her theatrical and voice over experience.
The lush, full arrangements come courtesy of Mike Watts and though ‘MARSHA BARTENETTI SINGS JANE MCNEALY AND KUHNS’ will be filed as a jazz vocal album, it’s stylistically much more diverse – smooth and sophisticated, it’s a 21st century take on the Great American Songbook, of which Jane McNealy was a key contributor.
MARSHA BARTENETTI SINGS JANE MCNEALY AND KUHNS is released on Lo-Flo Records April 1st.