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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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La Vie




1. Good Morning Heartache

2. I Wish You Love

3. La Vie en Rose

4. Poetry Man

5. Dream a Little Dream

6. Sunday Kind of Love

7. They Can't Take That Away from Me

8. Since I Fell for You

9. The Water Is Wide

10. La Vie en Rose (Remix)

Linda Calise (vocal) and Joe Carrier (piano, keyboards): Vinny Pagano (drums): Greg Loughman (bass): Bobby Cord, Pat Cardeiro, Lee Dynes, Alex Krepkikh (guitars): Ben Powell (solo violinist): Eric Bloom (trumpet soloist): Trevor Kellum (saxophone soloist, track 1): Ben Albert (piano, track 6 guest vocalist, tracks 2, 9): Joe Calise (bass, track 6): Pete Levesque (saxophone soloist, track 6): Mauro Colangelo (drums, bass, keyboards, track 10) plus string and horn sections

Recorded 2015 [41:59]

Linda Caliseís gatefold album explores some unexpected byways during the course of what is, largely, a vocal-with-instrumental-and-strings approach. The lush string wash of Good Morning Heartache, a tune so indelibly associated with Billie Holiday, allows Trevor Kellumís tenor solo to be heard in the richest possible light, though this is also an album that celebrates the solo violin in the shape of Ben Powell, whose solos appear threaded throughout the ten-track selection. His articulate and easy swing graces I Wish You Love and given that Calise is French-Canadian itís welcome that she brings a very languorous approach to La Vie en Rose, abetted by his Grappellian obbligato. Poetry Man sees her accompanied by a quartet espousing a rather Latin groove though itís a feature of the set that the accompanying musicians change from track to track so things are never static in that respect, for better or for worse.

Ben Albert, elsewhere a brief guest vocalist, adds his pianistic chops to Sunday Kind of Love, during which Calise is unafraid to roughen her tone a little and where Pete Levesque turns in a good violin solo. The brass section lends its broadest support on They Canít Take That Away From Me though the trumpet solo is very broad, indeed almost burlesque in impact. The vocal scat section is competently done, but itís not something I particularly like Ė a matter of taste, admittedly. Rather better and less forced is the discreetly voiced ballad Since I Fell For You and the track that follows, the Scottish folk song The Water is Wide, offers a wholly different slant on things entirely. Guitar and solo fiddle Ė Powell, extracting folkloric tone Ė offer the principal support and I think this works well, though more straight ahead jazzers might not agree. The final track is a re-mix of La Vie en Rose where an accordion prefaces a rather funky bass-and-keyboards affair. Itís more disco than Pigalle.

Thereís a slightly uneven tone to this album in which Parisian, folk and ballads sit alongside more canonical material. Calise is a neat stylist and manages to encompass all these varieties Ė a testament to her versatility and taste.

Jonathan Woolf

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