Little Black Dress
Seven original compositions and three evergreens make up Colorado songbird Kathy Morrow's program on this, a disc that not only grows on you but also serves to reaffirm the belief she's a talented composer. Morrow is a versatile vocalist. She possesses enough power to belt the gully-low blues but also has enough warmth in her voice to make a ballad sound like a ballad should--intimate. Morrow, who plays piano and synthesizer, is accompanied by an alto sax (Brent Gordon) bass (Peter Fontanese) and drums (Larry Dutmer), a quartet that's beefed up at times by reedman Chuck Schneider and guitarist/banjoist Don Watson. Two other musicians who are well known on the festival circuit also appear as guest stars, trombonist Al Hermann, formerly with the Summit Ridge Jazz Band and tubist Bill clark, Queen City Jazz Band leader. Put simply, the CD is thoroughly enjoyable. It has a party-time feeling, a mixture of funk, swing, hand-holders and well, a little bit of this and a little bit of that. All performed tastefully and in the right spirit. So, what grabs your ear? 'Black Coffee,' for one, a blues lament done up brown, and 'Walkin' After Midnight,' the Patsy Cline standard for another that lopes along on the wings of Morrow's piano and warm, sensuous voice. Also worth examination: a rockin' good 'Let's Have A Party,' that's guaranteed to get your feet movin' from the git-go; 'Harry's Coffee Shop,' that given a Dixieland treatment replete with Clark's tuba nd Hermann's 'bone; the ballad, 'Feel Like Makin' Love,' a smooth-jazz entry with heart; and 'Temporary Love,' an enchanting ballad whose melody at times is a kissing cousin to Ellington's 'I Like The Sunrise.' Two Suggestions: buy the CD and the next time you're anywhere near Morrow is performing, make it a point to be there. Cam Miller 'The American Rag'