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November 2000

Joanne Brackeen
Popsicle Illusion
Arkadia Records

Joanne Brackeen is capable of engaging the listener in various ways. Her stride-driven arrangement of "If I Were a Bell" might be in 7/4 time, but it still swings like crazy. She turns The Beatles' ballad "Michelle" into a meditation, and transforms Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss" into an impressionistic rhapsody. Her booting, boogie-woogie "Knickerbocker Blues" is positively righteous, and the title track is filled with slippery surprises. There's no predicting where Brackeen will take you, but it's always worth the trip.

Originally published in November 2000
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