Holly Cole's "Shade"

Discussion in 'Music' started by Burke Strickland, Aug 6, 2003.

  1. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    Four years after releasing her previous most-recent album, Holly Cole has returned to her jazz roots with a winning collection of "old favorites" and a couple of surprises that may well become jazz standards after her treatment of them. Although the song list is eclectic, they all have something to do with summer. Each track offers something a little different instrumentally but all effectively support her unique vocals. The recorded sound is first rate.

    Here is a track-by-track rundown:

    1. Heatwave – starts off a bit too “smooth jazz”-sounding for my taste – about 30 seconds of mechanical percussion that gives way none-too-soon to a boogie-woogie chorus. She puts together some interesting sounds here – her vocals play against the chorus and percussion in an enticing way. "Makin' a heat wave, by makin' your seat wave." Too bad this doesn't have video. :>)

    2. Something cool – laid back and cool -- soothing string accompaniment to the piano and bass all of which support Holly's vocals.

    3. Too darn hot – inflections and phrasing sound a lot like Patricia Barber in spots – Holly’s accompanied by a big band on this one instead of the more spare instrumental backup on typical on her early albums.

    4. God only knows – Holy Moley! She redefines this song – this sure ain't the Beach Boys :>) – the spare accompaniment that supports her languorous reading through most of it is quite effective…

    5. A cottage for sale – almost comic effect at a few points with wa-wa organ, contrasted with New Orleans/Dixieland-style brass highlights, and choir emphasizing certain words and phrases.

    6. We kiss in a shadow – somewhat closer to some of her earlier work with minimal accompaniment and vocals that break tempo occasionally for effect.

    7. It never entered my mind – ditto – this could have been on her albums "Dark Dear Heart" or "Blame it On My Youth ".

    8. Manhattan --- intro sounds similar to Ramsey Lewis’ “The In Crowd” before Holly romps through this sophisticated “standard”.

    9. Moonglow – Paul Desmond-sounding instrumentals behind her liquid rendition of the lyrics – can envision couples gliding around the dance floor to this one.

    10. Almost like being in love – catchy, satisfying arrangement.

    11. The midnight sun – again much like some of her earlier work, the accompaniment doesn’t slavishly follow the melody but provides counterpoint to Holly’s voice.

    12. Lazy afternoon – With its plucked strings on the bass viol, you might think this track was on “Temptation”. But it is a totally new performance.

    All-in-all, a very satisfying collection for her fans, and a good introduction for fans of jazz who don't already know her work. Very Highly Recommended.
     
  2. george king

    george king Supporting Actor

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    Burke,

    Thanks for the heads up. I LOVE Holly, and will have to go pick it up. To bad it is not on SACD.
     
  3. Burke Strickland

    Burke Strickland Second Unit

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    George - You might have to order it online since it does not seem to be widely distributed in the US. None of the CD stores that I checked in Houston carry it, and even Amazon treats it as an import (IOW, "very expensive"). :>) Fortunately one of their Canadian affiliates has it for a reasonable price and will ship it to US addresses in less than a week. It's worth the wait.
     

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