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June 2006

Pamela Luss
There's Something About You I Don't Know
Savant

Pretty enough to be Meadow Soprano’s older sister, Pamela Luss has a solid set of pipes and a robustness many less-solid singers would envy. It’s ironic that Luss has chosen to include “Fools Rush In” among the dozen standards that fill this, her debut CD. To refer to Luss as “foolish” would be both unkind and inaccurate, but these dozen tracks do seem to involve an awful lot of rushing about. It’s as if Luss is so busy thinking about the nuances of her performances that she’s left no time to feel, say, the pent-up heat of “Fever” or the free-flowing introspection of “Waters of March.”

Stylistically, she suggests Ann-Margret by way of Barbra Streisand, yet lacks the almost cartoonish insouciance of the former and the grandiose theatricality of the latter. So she remains stuck in the middle (and, sadly, stuck with pleasant but hardly startling or original arrangements—save Romero Lubambo’s superlative treatment of Tom Harrell’s “When Summer Comes”—that aren’t worthy of her or of such fine accompanists as Harrell, Vincent Herring, Steve Turre and Mulgrew Miller), full of pep and power as she ponders whether to travel left or right, not knowing the turn she most needs to make is inward, toward her heart.

Originally published in June 2006
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