Linda Ciofalo – Sun Set (2007)

Linda Ciofalo - Sun Set (2007)
Artist: Linda Ciofalo
Album: Sun Set
Label: Lucky Jazz
Year Of Release: 2007
Format: FLAC (tracks)
Tracklist:
01. Oh What a Beautiful Morning
02. You Took Advantage Of Me
03. Orange Blossoms In Summertime
04. Here Comes The Sun
05. Comes Love
06. Love Is Stronger Far Than We
07. La Isla Bonita
08. I’ll Follow The Sun
09. Midnight Sun
10. Lazy Afternoon
11. Blame It On The Sun
12. The Last Day Of Summer

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Linda Ciofalo’s Sun Set has connected all the dots to make for an impressive listening experience. Starting with a concept—songs with the word “sun” in the title, or sun-related—the package offers an eclectic collection of selections, innovative arrangements and performances by an engaging vocalist with major chops and choice instrumentalists: John di Martino (piano), John Hart (guitar), Marcus McLaurine (bass), Joel Frahm (sax) and Matt Wilson (drums).

Ciofalo’s vocal clarity is refreshing and she knows what to do with her instrument. She can deliver a ballad reading with warmth, but also has enough of an edge to swing when necessary. The opening track, “Oh! What A Beautiful Morning,” features Ciofalo’s vocal floating over a 6/8 tempo accompanied by Frahm’s fills. On “You Took Advantage of Me,” Ciofalo swings, backed only by Wilson’s wonderful hand drumming, and a straightforward reading of George Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun” takes us back to Beatletime. Another interesting material choice is a lovely and haunting reading of “Love Is Stronger Far Than We” from the film A Man and A Woman.

There is something to be said for every track. The players are well-attuned to each other and comprise a tight ensemble. Di Martino’s piano work is outstanding; his harmonies and ability to play exactly what needs to be played behind a vocalist well on display. Frahm also delivers, wailing on his “Summertime” solo and also on “Midnight Sun.” Hart has some shining moments on guitar and McLaurine’s solid bass work throughout completes the picture. But, most of all, this is a vocalist’s album and Ciofalo shows off her talent from start to finish. The CD bears more than one listening to discover all of its pleasurable dimensions.

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