Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.
For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.
New York-based Joan Bender has played classical clarinet, run track, and has been active in women's causes. Along the way, she has become a fine vocalist as she shows on this, her initial album. Possessed with a voice of considerable strength and range, Bender has a way with each of the songs included on the play list. Running from classic romantic standards, bossa nova, samba, and two of her originals, the singer throws herself completely into each tune, holding nothing back. The Latin "My Little Boat (O Barquinho)" becomes a rostrum of her scatting skills. She is alternatively coy and sassy on the Mary Martin vehicle "My Heart Belongs to Daddy"; disappointed and hurt on "You've Changed," which features some fine bass solo by Ben Rubin; and hopeful on "Time After Time," which is enhanced by Saul Rubin's guitar. In short, Bender is at hope with each tune. The Rubins and the rest of the quartet recruited to back Bender on this CD are fine musicians. The problem is that the two, Bender's voice and the quartet, don't mix well. With her strong, relatively high-pitched voice, she is in desperate need of a horn or two, such as a muted trumpet or a tenor sax, to add body and a softer tone to the proceedings. This is a case where the singer overwhelms the sidemen, as on such cuts as "Poinciana," instead of the other way around, which sometimes happens. This situation needlessly distorts performance by throwing it off balance. This lacking is in no way a fatal defect. There is still much to commend this album. But some meatier instrumental support would have moved this album from the good to the excellent category.
|Label:||Original Cast Record|
Performance CreditsJoan Bender Primary Artist,Vocals
Ian McDonald Piano
Jimmy Wormworth Drums
Ben Rubin Bass
Technical CreditsBlossom Dearie Author
Ronnie Caldwell Contributor
Will Friedwald Liner Notes,Author
Tom Schick Engineer
Andrew Eccles Art Direction
Joan Bender Producer
Michael Trueblood Graphic Design