All This and Heaven Too: Live at Bake's Place
Heading north to Seattle, where, it seems, good singers grow on trees, it's a delight to discover Greta Matassa. On All This and Heaven Too the versatile Matassa, who's survived everything from comically bad lounge acts to heavy metal head-bangers over the past three decades, comes home to the standards she knows and loves best. Recorded live at Bake's Place, All This is as cozy and satisfying as a fireside brandy on a rainy Northwest night. Echoing Rosie Clooney's natural warmth and Nancy Wilson's impeccable phrasing, Matassa moves from triumph to triumph, handling such diverse challenges as "Why Try to Change Me Now," "Ruby," "He Was Too Good to Me" and Gordon Jenkins' far too rarely recorded "Blue Prelude" with unflagging assurance. It is, however, the title track that shines brightest. Originally the private property of Frank Sinatra before it was skillfully purloined by Chris Connor, the traditionally easy-going "All This" is lovingly reshaped into seven minutes of spirited joy. As Maggie Smith so fondly enthuses in Gosford Park: yummy, yummy, yummy.