Jomarie Payton: Southern Shadows

Crossbreeding funk with a big band sound, TV actress JoMarie Payton delivers a lively, full of surprises recording. Arranger Billy Mitchell mixes string synth, electric bass and backup singers with a piano and a full complement of horns. Payton’s voice rises above it all, expressive in an Etta Jones, Dinah Washington way. Payton offers “What a Difference a Day Makes,” but after the first go-round twists it to a funk-laden toe-tapper. Notable through this mix of old and new standards are Leroy Ball’s propulsive bass and Gerald Albright’s sax.