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December 2000

Sandi Shoemake
Lullaby in Rhythm
Chase Music Group

On her second solo outing, vocalist Sandi Shoemake has assimilated the Jackie Cain influence that overshadowed her otherwise impressive 1984 debut album. Recorded on January 31, 1999, at The Hamlet in Cambria, Calif.-Shoemake's home base for the past eight years-Lullaby in Rhythm features the singer backed by a piano trio led by her husband, Charlie (best-known for his tenure as vibraphonist with George Shearing's Quintet), supplemented by guest artists tenor saxophonist Pete Christlieb and guitarist Bruce Forman. The repertoire consists of 11 standards, including some neglected gems, notably "I Know Why (and So Do You") and "If I'm Lucky." Shoemake hits a few notes that probably would have been patched if this were a studio album, but overall her interpretations are mellow and thoughtful, especially a samba retrofitting of "It's Magic." Christlieb's solos are, as always, inventive and inspired.

Originally published in December 2000
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