Lynn Jolicoeur possesses a strong confident singing voice fit for chart hits and soundtrack work (I'd much rather have heard her in several animated movies over the last so many years instead of then overdone Elton John excesses fraught with goo and syrup), but her métier is an interesting cross between folk, MOR, jazz, and soft rock well informed by the backing band, The Pulse. Those gents form a combo reminding the listener variously of Steely Dan, Kenny Rankin's old units, a resident jazz band playing in the foyer of the Hilton Head Inn in South Carolina (er, is there one still there?), Atlanta Rhythm section, and outfits of that ilk. At times, I was thinking of Blue Line Highway and their not-quite-pigeonholable work, but Jolicoeur's actually more in line with a somewhat older time, the era when Carly Simon, Dusty Springfield, Petula Clark, Toni Tenille, Helen Reddy, and others were forming a new post-Great American Songbook frontline, this time with women sharing the spotlight a lot more equally.
World Behind your Eyes contains the sort of music you'd expect to hear at a fest like the old Milwaukee music and beer confab. I've no idea if that gig's still around, but it was a constant in the 70s and treasured for the variety of uptone musics purveyed. I attended only once when crossing the country after college, around '75, but saw America, the Tripoli Steel Band, Crack the Sky, and a couple other bands the abundance of tasty beers for some reason still prevents me from remembering. Goooooood stuff, though, and Jolicoeur and ensemble would've been a perfect addition. No sturm und drang, no goofy-ass capering in costumes, no poseuring and glowering, just great tunes for a sunny day on the lakefront with thousands of your closest friends.
Her reworking of Sting's Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic reminds me of how Richie Havens would've handled the now-standard song, and 'twas a very pleasant surprise to hear Chick Corea's Open Your Eyes, You Can Fly again. I very much remember picking up Flora Purim's LP of the same name back in '76—as much for Airto's way cool percussives and sonic oddments as for Flora's exuberant voice—and just loving that cut. Jolicoeur takes it down several notches, turning the composition towards the Gulf Coast, much balmier and sun-lazed, Americanized. The Carly Simon element comes through quite clearly in In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning before turning the corner into a gentle swing on an obscure little gem: Sleepin' Bee, written by Truman Capote (!) with the equally acclaimed Howard Arlen. A few surprises here, y'all.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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