Samantha Carlson's self-produced Day In - Day Out is true lounge music and quite notable for its unusually refreshing joie de vivre, the sort of well executed sparkling set of standards that would be perfectly at home at any of the major labels (wherein I expect she'll shortly find herself). Van Alexander, who arranged the compositions and has worked for Dean Martin, Chick Webb, Ella Fitzgerald, and various others notes that what attracted him to Carlson was her perfect intonation, and he's quite right. While listening to the opening title cut, I was struck not only by the vivacity of the recitation but a mysterious something that illuminated the song. Sure enough, it was that sonorous crystalline purity, and I thought "She can't keep this up!", yet that's exactly what she did, every note perfectly shaped, song after song.
Perhaps the most interesting element here is the cross between fidelity to the originals and the making of them into her own. Several songs should be more moody than they are but damned if Carlson doesn't re-create them so well that you half wonder if the writers didn't really intend them that way in the first place. Even when damping things down, there's an irrepressible joy and vibrant serenity that imbues everything she does, and, more than once, drummer Dan Dorff adds considerable spice and piquancy, especially in the first two cuts, taking them to the side of themselves.
The sole disappointing aspect of this release is the fact that it's only a little over a half hour long, halfway between an EP and a full CD, but I find I'm more than satisfied by the nine cuts offered regardless. As I say, Day In - Day Out is 100% lounge music and, had I been passing through the foyer of the Hyatt Regency or Ritz Carlton, I would've made a bee-line for the bar the moment I heard Carlson's voice, stayed there, mistily downed a brace of cocktails with a smile on my face and snap in my fingers (catch her and pianist Philip Burkhead prancing about in A Foggy Day), thus making the management very happy before returning again the next day for more of the same. And the day after. And the day after that.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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