Mary Stallings: Remember Love

Mary Stallings has settled into a refined groove, maintaining a thoroughbred’s vocal gait that suggests a less-stylized Nancy Wilson. For her Half Note debut, Stallings has been placed in the expertly loving hands of Geri Allen, who pulls triple duty as producer, arranger and pianist/organist. Like Allen, the balance of Stallings’ esteemed company-bassist Darryl Hall, drummer Billy Hart, tenor saxophonist/flutist Frank Wess, also saxman Vincent Herring and trumpeter Wallace Roney-appreciate that the best way to showcase a fully bloomed (though, impressively, barely faded) rose is against a backdrop of soft, rich velvet. As such, Remember Love, filled with such interesting, semiprecious gems as Mancini and Mercer’s “Moment to Moment” and the Nat “King” Cole hit “Funny (Not Much),” becomes a warm, rich study in understated elegance.