Amylondon_span3
05/20/11

Amy London
Let’s Fly
Motema

Three years ago on her debut album, Amy London revealed a stylistic kinship with Annie Ross on a boplicious “Swingin’ the Blues.” This time around, London’s adulation goes deeper. The entire disc is dedicated to Ross, and London’s deft navigation of the title tune, written by Annie when she was just 14 and recorded only once previously (by Johnny Mercer, no less), ably proves her a worthy bearer of Ross’ vocalese torch.
But Ross is hardly London’s only musical hero, a point made beautifully clear with her discerningly spiced interpretation of Joni Mitchell’s “All I Want” and multi-hued, mood-shifting reading of Laura Nyro’s “I Never Meant to Hurt You.” London, who wrote all the arrangements, also shapes a sexy, slithery “I Love Being Here With You,” a giddily capricious “This Happy Madness” and a free-floating “Here’s to Life” that is, intriguingly, more sanguine than reflective.

The most profound examples of London’s imaginative prowess, however, are her gently undulating meander through Mingus’ “Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love” and a bilingual blending of “You and the Night and the Music” with Bizet’s “Habanera” (from Carmen) that progresses from candlelit foreplay to fiery passion.

Originally published in June 2011
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