One of the most enjoyable singers around, Shaynee Rainbolt’s second album will appeal to a very wide audience. She’s jazz-flavored and dramatically believable, at home perched on a stool in a dimly lit jazz bistro or cabaret venue. And she can still handle any comic-patter novelty that comes along. They’re all included here, and she greets them with a high, thin voice, a firm falsetto that extends her range and great enunciation. That diction clearly imparts Dave Frishberg’s wit on “Blizzard of Lies.”
Rainbolt’s strength lies in ballads. Her most impressive are “The Summer Knows,” backed only by the guitar of Gene Bertoncini, and “Easy to Remember,” accompanied mainly by pianist Lee Musiker (Tony Bennett’s music director). “Moonglow,” with guitar joined by bassist Tom Hubbard, is uncomplicatedly soothing. “Never-Never Land” is pure poetry. She handles the pulsating mambo “In These Shoes” with bilingual authority. The way, way up “I Only Have Eyes For You” finds Rainbolt scatting precisely on the final unison lick with trumpet and alto.