At first, in Ivan Lins' Love Dance, Sharon Marie Cline's style seems to be one of near-melismatics and evanescence, the sort of music you want to drift off to under a canopy of stars and dreamy eyes, a nice long 6-minute immersion in gentle hedonisms. Then the Rodgers & Hammerstein Happy Talk comes up, and you stroll down a sunlit promenade, balloons floating in the sky, couples sauntering entwined and smiling, Rich Eames' piano putting a bit o' bop in the doings, Lee Thornburg's muted trumpet harking back to Dorsey / Armstrong days.
Sugar on my Lips, one of two songs co-written by Cline is perhaps the highlight of the CD, and trying her hand at writing was something Eames, who co-produces and co-arranges the CD, had to talk her into. Why Cline may have been reticent is a tad mysterious, 'cause, man, she knocks it out of the ballpark on this cut. Though she's always smooth and silky, Sugar is also the track most demonstrative of her fullest range, from whispery seduction to exhilaration. I Wanna be Loved, though, is the most naked example of Cline's emotional high siding, where everything cuts loose, Eames' middle eight a pool of contrasty calm in an otherwise passionate explication.
Laughter in the Rain, on the other hand, is the most interesting cut. I'm not a big fan of Neil Sedaka, but what Cline does with Laughter is by far the most worthy legitimation of Neil's output, turns the charty ditty into a composite art piece, jazzing it into an evocation that had been hiding for years…until Cline and Eames came along. No lie, I couldn't quite determine what she was doing until I played the third consecutive rendition of that song and then fell back, smiling, into my chair. It re-set my ears to listen to her as being far more constructively subtle than I'd understood to be the case at the outset, and that's precisely what I recommend to you. Don't just dig the eros of the disc's ambiance, don't merely melt into the frequent etherealities, but also pay heed to the architecture of every cut and see where Sharon Cline's jazz heart really is, because, as much as her accompanists are on the spot and the music beguiling, it's her and Eames' architecting that really make This is Where I Wanna Be what it is.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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