ROBIN MCKELLE, MESS AROUND


After releasing two acclaimed big band albums, the singer/songwriter Robin McKelle slips into a little black dress of neo-soul jazz to “Mess Around,” her new album of R&B inflected tunes and the fit couldn’t be finer. She lends her warm, husky voice to a quartet of original compositions that share the floor with hip songs by Leonard Cohen, Doc Pomus, The Bee Gees and the swing tune, “Never Make Your Move Too Soon. It’s no wonder her inspirations include Ray Charles and Etta James; the girl’s got an affinity for the blues. The arrangements are witty (“Eleanor Rigby” is dressed up in James brown rhythms) and the soloists include the debonair saxophonist Houston Person. Two originals, “Until The Day I Die” and “Since I Looked In Your Eyes,” benefit from gutsy solos by guitarist Marvin Sewell (Cassandra Wilson) and they underscore McKelle’s authenticity and commitment to the cause. (11 tracks; 48:26 minutes) www.robinmckelle.com 
     

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JAZZ IN SPACE: ROBIN MCKELLE, MESS AROUND

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

ROBIN MCKELLE, MESS AROUND


After releasing two acclaimed big band albums, the singer/songwriter Robin McKelle slips into a little black dress of neo-soul jazz to “Mess Around,” her new album of R&B inflected tunes and the fit couldn’t be finer. She lends her warm, husky voice to a quartet of original compositions that share the floor with hip songs by Leonard Cohen, Doc Pomus, The Bee Gees and the swing tune, “Never Make Your Move Too Soon. It’s no wonder her inspirations include Ray Charles and Etta James; the girl’s got an affinity for the blues. The arrangements are witty (“Eleanor Rigby” is dressed up in James brown rhythms) and the soloists include the debonair saxophonist Houston Person. Two originals, “Until The Day I Die” and “Since I Looked In Your Eyes,” benefit from gutsy solos by guitarist Marvin Sewell (Cassandra Wilson) and they underscore McKelle’s authenticity and commitment to the cause. (11 tracks; 48:26 minutes) www.robinmckelle.com 
     

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