HILARY KOLE ~ HAUNTED HEART CD!
THIS IS A DYNAMITE CD OF JAZZ INFUSED STANDARDS BY A YOUNG WOMAN WITH A VOICE TO DIE FOR!
The first thing that comes to mind when listening to Hilary Kole's solo debut, Haunted Heart, now out on the Justin Time label, is amazement that it's a debut album. Her crystal-clear voice and perfect timing, combined with some solid backing from a group that includes guitarist (and producer) John Pizzarelli, provide a polished and professional listening experience.
She's been compared to Anita O'Day and Blossom Dearie, and even includes one of the latter's songs, "You For Me," on this album. But she also reminds me of one of my favorites, Stacey Kent, with her ability to add a playful touch to her straight-ahead style. A good example is "It's Love," an old but seldom heard standard given a lively treatment by Kole.
The baker's dozen tracks on the album include several similarly old songs that you won't hear every day, and that's a nice plus. One of those — probably my favorite here — is Rogers and Hart's "There's a Small Hotel," which is just a delight as performed by Kole. I also enjoy "What'll I Do," an Irving Berlin classic that's been neglected by most modern singers, but is revived by Kole in a winning performance.
There are a few surprising choices too, and Kole shows plenty of versatility in her interpretations of various types of songs. Tom Waits' "Old Boyfriends" takes us in a slightly different direction but is a good listen; and I especially enjoy "The Snake," a deadly-fun piece written by Oscar Brown, Jr.
An outstanding debut album for Hilary Kole; highly recommended for just about anybody who enjoys good music performed by talented musicians. ~ THE BIG GEEZ @ BLOG CRITICS
1. It's Love
2. There's A Small Hotel
3. 'Deed I Do
4. I Didn't Know About You
5. Better Than Anything
6. Like A Lover
7. Blackberry Winter
8. The Snake
9. Old Boyfriends
10. How Am I To Know n
11. What'll I Do
12. You For Me
13. Haunted Heart
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