Love theme from ‘Spartacus’
Throw It Away
Weep No More
All The Things You Are
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.