Not only is Annette Genovese an accomplished jazz singer and sometime writer but she chose a backing quartet for Dream with Me that's very lucid, always in perfect balance among one another and with her. That's a rare feat, not the least of credit in which goes to engineer Rave Tessar, who recorded, mixed and mastered everything. Guitarist Rob Reich, bassist Bran Glassman, keyboardist Jim West, and drummer Paul DeLuca all enjoy equal footing with Annette, continually reinforcing one another, investing each cut with a full, balanced sound. I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to enjoy that rather than strain to find, as is too often the case, the bass lines or grow irritated that the drums are too downplayed.
The singer's style and tone are light, breezy, happy, wistful, and smooth, mixing straight-ahead jazz with Braziliana and a be-boppy lightfootedness mixed with hints of pop underones but also a bit of what Marge Raymond, Maggie Bell, and other rock 'n blues chanteuses brought to the hardtack side of the house—not nearly as rough as Marge 'n Mags could get but Annette possesses that edge, shown clearly in Ain't Nobody, just sassy enough to replace the tropical sarong she sonically sports with a red dress and heels. Then there's her version of Superstar which comes as close to a Paul Williams interpretation as I've ever heard…when Paul, that is, like Manilow in his Broadway mood (the only really good mood that mope has), is feeling nightclub frisky.
My favorite track, though, is Willow Weep for Me, one of those songs almost impossible to damage or even neutralize. Ever since catching the severely romantic version by Chad & Jeremy millenia ago, I've yet to pick up on an unsatisfactory take, and Annette models her cue from orthodox readings but injects a New Orleans bayou tang to things, further hipped by Reich's Benson-esque guitar work. By the time the end section is arrived at, the cut has turned into Rat Pack version, emphasis on the Sammy Davis by way of Ella.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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