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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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  1. Love theme from ‘Spartacus’
  2. Throw It Away
  3. Weep No More
  4. All The Things You Are
  5. Four
  6. Blue Monk
  7. Mr PC
  8. Nature Boy
  9. Over the Rainbow

Deborah Latz (vocals)
Alain Jean-Marie (piano)
Gilles Naturel (bass)

Recorded September 2013, Studio de Meudon, Paris [35:13]

Deborah Latz has a canny way with lyrics and arrangements. Accompanied just by piano and bass - Alain Jean-Marie and Gilles Naturel – she ranges from the music of fellow singer Abbey Lincoln via Monk and Miles to standards from Arlen and Kern, not forgetting a venture to the film music of Alex North. It’s with his music that the disc begins in Latz’s own arrangement of the Love Theme from Spartacus, music that has enraptured musicians across stylistic borders. She starts this daringly, with quiet intensity, but then swings it fast. The melancholic balladry of Lincoln’s Throw It Away suits Latz very nicely – stylistically and vocally – and she has the sensitivity to take on Brubeck’s Weep No More which again is a valuable repertoire piece. Perhaps her tone pinches when she takes the melody line high: she sounds more comfortable lower down in her register.

With her tight-knit band with her every step of the way the tempo doubling of All The Things You Are sounds polished but exciting and the Miles Davis-John Hendricks piece Four – heard in her own arrangement – emerges as a suitably swinging and snappy opus. She clearly has an affinity for Abbey Lincoln as she sings her lyrics set to Blue Monk and revisits another clear influence in Hendricks, whose tongue-twisting lyrics to Coltrane’s Mr PC finds a worthy champion in Latz – and it would be wrong to omit to mention the articulate and rhythmically supple support of her two accompanists. I particularly liked her arrangement of Nature Boy, opening as it does with Naturel’s arco solo and Jean-Marie stealthily romantic piano reveries.

With fine recorded sound and a warm ensemble, it’s easy to enjoy this warm-hearted, thoughtful, and clever album.

Jonathan Woolf

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