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May 1997

Jeri Brown
April in Paris
Justin Time Records

In the crowded field of jazz vocalists there are some whose progress is obvious, while others rest comfortably on a plateau. Jeri Brown is one whose upward curve continues, unabated. Her palette grows exponentially, and her skills broaden as her understanding of the craft deepens. If only more folks would notice! Through her evolution she has learned to take greater care of a lyric. In her earlier formative years it seemed as if the lyrics were almost an afterthought as she tumbled headlong into the improvisation, which for her meant exposition of an extravagant scatting ability.

The Canada-based songstress remains a formidable vocal improviser; however she has learned to reign in that talent in service to the deeper meaning of a song. This recording, made during a stint in Paris and boasting the esteemed bassist Pierre Michelot is rife with romantic passion and her gifted balladry, truly the kind of joie de vivre available in abundance during April in the City of Lights. Two of the tracks are sweetened by Roberto De Brashow's charming accordion, and the Johnny Mathis vehicle "The Twelfth Of Never" is given fresh dressing.

Originally published in May 1997
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