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Barbara Sfraga: Under the Moon

Classically trained Long Islander Barbara Sfraga also deserves high marks for her sophomore solo outing, Under the Moon (A440). There’s brazenness to Sfraga that’s as arresting as it is invigorating. Never content with traditional readings or staid arrangements, she is a master of bold reinterpretation. Her previous studio disc, Oh, What a Thrill, featured several of her own compositions. Here, there’s just one – the edgily quixotic (and suggestively Frishbergian) “Never Walk Away.” To fill out the album’s nine remaining tracks she calls on everyone from Ellington and Carmichael to Dylan and Angela Bofill. Her “Stardust” is as bright as the noonday sun, she tackles “I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face” with athletic perspicacity, delivers a jagged “Prelude to a Kiss” that’s all right angles and, perhaps most inventive of all, brews a “You’ve Changed” that will surely rank as the single most caffeineated version ever recorded. Bottom line? Get out and get Under the Moon.

Originally Published