Nancy Marano: If You Could See Us Now!

Considerable thought and preparation has gone into If You Could See Us Now, and it’s paid off big time. Some of the credit for this goes to Marano, a gifted vocalist whose style has been drawn from a number of singers, most obviously Ella Fitzgerald. Kudos as well to Manny Albam, whose textures, voicings, dynamic changes, and lines are far more varied than Pronk’s. There’s some unusual material here as well, including Jimmy Rowles’ complex “The Peacocks,” given a seven and one half minute treatment, Billy Strayhorn’s sensuous “A Flower Is a Lonesome Thing” and Duncan Lamont’s “Carousel.” The disc’s loaded with hip, subtle touches.

Marano, Albam and Co. were not content with just another good, swinging CD; they went the extra mile, and it does my heart good to see how successful they’ve been.