Sunday in New York
Libby York is doing a shameful disservice to fans of first-rate jazz singing. How? The Chicagoan with the tremendous Anita O'Day appeal, who should be churning out discs at least the same annual rate as so many lesser performers, has stingily delivered a grand total of two albums in half a decade. On Sunday in New York (BluJazz), the Abbey Lincoln protegee unites with a kickass trio-Renee Rosnes on piano, Billy Drummond on drums and Todd Coolman on bass (with Count Basie alum Frank Wess joining in on tenor sax for three tracks)-to pay tribute to the Big Apple with a delectable all-standards program.
York shows off her bravura dexterity with a treatment of Michael Frank's "Down in Brazil" that's as soft as an Ipanema breeze, a slyly winking "I Go for That" and an interpretation of the title track that comes close to topping Bobby Darin's boisterous 1964 version by adding a velvety layer of contentment. Her "Midnight Sun" shimmers with precisely the right amount of infracted longing, her "Like Someone in Love" is lightly brushed with bemused satisfaction and her languidly tender "That's All" simultaneously recalls the cool self-assurance of June Christy and the caress of Edie Adams.