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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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ANNIE ROSS

To Lady With Love

Red Anchor CAP 1047

 

 

1. To Lady

2. For All We Know

3. I Donít Stand A Ghost Of A Chance

4. Iím A Fool To Want You

5. Violets For Your Furs

6. You Donít Know What Love Is

7. Youíve Changed

8. When Your Lover Has Gone

9. I Get Along Without You Very Well

10. Itís Easy To Remember

11. Traveliní Light

12. Music Is Forever

Annie Ross - Vocals

Bucky Pizzarelli, John Pizzarelli - Guitars

Annie Ross is a singer who continues to look forward rather than through the rear-view mirror. Yet this must at times be difficult to do, given the highs and lows of both her professional and personal life. Fondly recalled by her association with the iconic vocalese group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, which became the model for other similarly styled entities such as the Double Six Of Paris, the Swingle Singers and latterly Manhattan Transfer. After Ross left the group in 1962, she struck out on her own in both singing and acting in various media, and gained well-deserved above-the-title recognition. At the age of 84, Annie Ross continues to perform weekly at the Metropolitan Room in New York City. This current album To Lady With Love is a tribute to Billie Holiday, and is Rossís first solo release in several years.

Accompanied by the father-and-son combination of Bucky Pizzarelli and John Pizzarelli each on a seven-string guitar, Ross runs though a song list that is more a paean to Billie Holiday rather than a Songbook. Not unsurprisingly, this is not the Annie Ross of Twisted nor of the peak Lambert, Hendricks & Ross period. This is an 84-year-old woman whose vibrato is shaky, and most of the lyrics are done in a spoken tempo rather than sung, with little or no intonation, and no vocal range. So what can be said of a session in which, regardless of the tune, be it For All We Know, Violets For Your Furs or Youíve Changed, the interpretations are all of a piece. By a long shot, the best thing in this release is the playing of the Pizzarellis, whether it be the intricate comping behind Ross, or offering thoughtful solos.

Reality is often cruel, and memories are best kept in a bottle. So when given a choice, stick with the memories.

Pierre Giroux



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