Raya Yarbrough: Early Autumn
Raya Yarbrough (vocals)
Raya Yarbrough (Telarc 83658)
Raya Yarbrough (vocals).
Arranged by Steve Bartek. Composed by Ralph Burns and Johnny Mercer..
Recorded: Passadena, CA, December 16-20, 2006
Rating: 93/100 (learn more)
Ralph Burns's impressionistic composition "Early Autumn" is much beloved by an older generation of jazz fans, but rarely covered by the youngsters. Then again, it is hard to top Stan Getz's gorgeous solo on the original recording. But Yarbrough delivers a gem in this reworking of a 60-year-old piece, with a delicate, understated vocal. I am generally suspicious when they bring in the string orchestra on a jazz vocal CD - I can almost smell easy-listenin' in the air. No need to worry here. Producer Steve Bartek has cooked up a brilliant string arrangement. It's like Lou Harrison was called in by mistake to handle a Nelson Riddle gig. In fact, this is the most interesting use of strings in a vocal CD that I have heard in a long time, and is what pushes my rating from the high 80s into the 90s. Check it out!
Reviewer: Ted Gioia