Pamela Luss: Nice And Easy

Track

Nice And Easy

Artist

Pamela Luss (vocals)

CD

Sweet and Saxy (Savant SCD2103)

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Musicians:

Pamela Luss (vocals), Houston Person (tenor sax), John di Martino (piano), Ray Drummond (bass), Willie Jones III (drums).

Composed by Alan and Marilyn Bergman.

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Recorded: New York, 2009

Pamelaluss

Rating: 83/100 (learn more)

The lovely Pamela Luss has teamed with the iconic Houston Person to offer a mixed bag of favorites from the Great American Songbook, along with some not-so-great tunes from the pop-rock bins. ďNice and EasyĒ is firmly lodged in the former column and thereís no denying the appeal of Lussí pristine, sweet, and velvety timbre.

Itís a daunting task to tackle a classic that has been recorded by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Natalie Cole, and Michael Buble and still bring something fresh to the table — and thatís the rub. On this outing the arrangement is tasteful, the playing is assured and workmanlike, the mix is balanced and Pamela Luss has a rare, hypnotic quality in her voice. But thereís little in the delivery to suggest the playful mood of Marilyn Bergmanís composition or cynical seductiveness of Alan Bergmanís lyrics. One begins to wonder: why is she holding back?

Listening to this cut, itís hard to escape the impression that youíve just wandered into a bar at closing time, to find the wait staff in the process of stacking chairs on the tables while the band chugs through its last number. Thatís a pity, because this tune is one of the great old charmers and it deserves a bit more fresh air, especially from the sidemen. Houston Person seems to be the only player who is not phoning it in — his solo comes from the gut and his embellishments to the vocal head add depth without intruding. A bit more fire from the rhythm section and a little more sass from Miss Luss would have elevated this track way above the ordinary. Adding that extra, intangible something is never easy, but it would have been nice.

Reviewer: Bill Barnes

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