(02 October 2004) Close your eyes and imagine that you're sitting in a dark, smoke-filled cabaret with a glass of merlot in hand, and the music has come alive. The sultry mood is quickly established, and jazz sensation Christy Baron's exquisite vocals make you sway to the music. Her dynamic style is highlighted throughout the fifteen amazing tracks in Restrospective (Chesky Records (USA) SACD269, 2004).
Christy continues to excel with her newest album which contains a magnificent repetoire of covers that we all know and love. She brings a new freshness into this compilation of well-known melodies, gleaned from her previous three albums.
"She's Not There" (The Zombies) initiates the journey into jazz heaven. The beat of the bongos and flute solos brings about a transformation and ambience in this familiar song. The vibes in Cole Porter's "Night and Day" definitely showcase Christy's immense talents and she puts her personal stamp on each of these melodies. Christy brings a new interpretation to Lennon and McCartney's "Got to Get You Into My Life." She introduces an easy-going style that is well suited to the smooth vibrations and velvety vocals.
"I'm an interpreter of music," she says, "not a straight-ahead jazz singer. It means a lot to me that Chesky thinks I have an interesting enough take on these tunes that people will sit up and listen. That's why I do this, because I'm always trying to turn things upside-down or inside-out."
"That Old Devil Moon" swings and glides into the limelight, with Christy's own special touch. Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed" has the feminine edge and Christy's angelic voice caresses the music. Everyone's favorite, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," takes on new meaning and soars to the next level with her jazzy and delicate crooning.
The 70s Carole King song, "Stand Behind Me," was interpreted with a new panache and assured elegance. "Happy Together" brings the listener back to another, but updated, era. Her soulful renditions in "Mercy Street" and "Ain't No Sunshine" continue to emphasize the extraordinary talent of this songstress.
The instrumentals are top notch, and the musicians certainly deserve credit for their amazing renditions. Unfortunately, their names are not found in the accompanying CD booklet.
Christy's clarity and crisp tonal quality is most certainly the icing on the cake. Her beautiful vocals take center stage and Chesky's continued
first class production magnifies Christy's talents.
This talented singer has brought out the best in jazz standards, and has definitely raised the bar.