Robin McKelle: Save Your Love for Me
Save Your Love for Me
Robin McKelle (vocals)
Modern Antique (Cheap Lullaby Records)
Wayne Bergenon, Don Clark, Larry Hall (trumpets), Andy Martin, Jason Thor, Charlie Morillas, Craig Gosnell (trombones), Dan Higgins, Ray Herrmann, Bob Shepard, Mark Visher, Glen Berger (saxes), Alain Mallet (piano), Mike Velario (bass), Bernie Dressel (drums), 15-piece string section.
Composed by Buddy Woodrow Johnson; arranged by Willie Murillo & Chris Barron.
Recorded: Los Angeles, CA, June and August 2007
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
It is a joy to hear an accomplished and talented singer backed by a kick-ass big band arranged to precision and playing with abundant enthusiasm. That is what you get from Robin McKelle's Modern Antique.
Robin's voice is at times derivative of a young Nancy Wilson's jazz sensibilities crossed with the pop sensibilities of Anita Baker. On "Save Your Love for Me," which Nancy performed so poignantly on her 1962 album with Cannonball Adderley, Robin puts her own stamp on the slow blues classic of forlorn love, with the aid of fine big band arrangements including a full string section. I am usually not a fan of overly produced music, but in this case it works.
Robin has great control over her powerful voice, extracting tremendous feeling from this soulful lament for the first part of the song. About midway through, the band kicks into a higher gear, sparked by Andy Snitzer's gutsy tenor sax solo. With a rhythmic piano line leading to the song's finale, Robin lays it all out with a stirring burst of serpentine vocal modulations that are reminiscent of Anita Baker in her prime.
Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello