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03/29/14

Libby York
Memoir
Libby York

While Diana Krall continues to top vocal polls and rack up platinum album sales, Chicagoan Libby York remains comparatively obscure. So consider this open invitation to all Krall fans to dip into York’s meager—just four albums across 15 years—but mighty oeuvre. Memoir, a terrific collection of standards, is an ideal place to start. What you’ll discover is an interpreter who is not only every inch Krall’s equal but also bears a strong vocal resemblance to the Canadian superstar: warm, intimate and imbued with a fogbound sexiness.

York has always demonstrated superb taste in both song selection and sidemen. Here, traveling from a tender “How Long Has This Been Going On?” and a sly “When in Rome” to a shimmering “My Little Boat” and sprightly “Walk Between the Raindrops,” she is seamlessly supported by pianist John di Martino (her co-arranger on all 11 tracks), bassist Martin Wind, drummer Greg Sergo and cornet player Warren Vaché. Guitarist Russell Malone joins on three tracks, including a misty “Thanks for the Memory,” and Vaché twice contributes vocal accompaniment, adding gravel-filled joy to “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” and a cleverly updated take on the Bing Crosby-Bob Hope chestnut “Put It There, Pal.”

Originally published in March 2014
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