Christy Baron: Take This Journey

It seems entirely apropos that Christy Baron’s latest Chesky release, Take This Journey, was recorded in church (Manhattan’s St. Peter’s, to be precise). There’s purity to Baron’s singing, an unfiltered honesty that’s as refreshing as an early morning snowfall and fulfilling as a heartfelt compliment. Freed of overrehearsed affectations and overwhelming arrangements, Baron lays bare each lyric, exploring the soft folds of “Not While I’m Around,” the self-delusional satisfaction of “The Lies of Handsome Men” and the crushing despair of “A House Is Not a Home” with unilateral finesse. Much of the credit for the album’s polished luminosity must, however, go to bassist David Finck, who does quadruple duty as Baron’s co-producer, arranger and music director. He also shows off his considerable songwriting skills with “Gentle Journey,” a soothing samba that unfolds like a soigne “Come Fly With Me,” and a whip-smart spin on the old “Guess Who I Saw Today” theme called “The Way He Captured Me.”