Don't take the CD title, No Sad Songs for Me, too literally, friends, 'cause Carol Fredette knows how to lay out a nightcub blueser with the best of 'em…although, in cases like You're Getting to be a Habit with Me, she can go from coy to curious to wistful to seductive to sparkling with ease. More, her vocal range covers a moody Kurt Weill-ish Marianne Faithfull low end to a balmy Peggy Lee and chipper Helen Reddy mid-range; it all depends on how she interprets the moment in the song. Having worked with Bucky Pizarelli, Chuck Loeb, Claudio Roditi, Steves Kuhn and Swallow, and a host of other high notables, it ain't like she doesn't know her way around a music sheet nor how to supply what wasn't written as well, the key to real jazz.
Bassist David Finck arranges everything around Fredette's voice as she fashions her way via various musical architectures, floor plans, and finials, and he did so absolutely dead-on, measuring each accompanying musician against the highest possible output for the most sparing input. Even when swingin', as in I Am In Love, the economy of atmospherics allows each soloist (first trombone, then voice and guitar, then piano, and so on) a clear path among fellow musicians until the band falls together right beneath Carol's emphatics on rhyme schemes, afterwards flowing like a river to the sea, Helio Alves' pianistics a gentle mist of spring rain.
"She's as good as they come!" remarked Stan Getz, who knows from music and then some, and there's indeed a very classic glow in No Sad Songs. Whether it's muted, husky, smoky, saucy, or just liltingly larksome, the listener is transported by her back to the days of Chet Baker, when coolness pervaded the fingersnapping milieu of the 50s as it attempted to slow the hurtling rush towards the '60s and dwell a bit longer in a Tin Pan Alley that had happily been infiltrated by the hip 'n jive set. No Sad Songs for Me is precisely a case in point.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles