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Ernestine Anderson: A Song for You

Ernestine Anderson

Though it didn’t receive anywhere near the hoopla surrounding last year’s celebration of Sheila Jordan’s 80th birthday, 2008 also marked Ernestine Anderson’s entrée into the octogenarian club. Like Jordan, Anderson is an indefatigable trooper, still going strong with her regular appearances at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York and far-too-infrequent albums for HighNote (the last was 2003’s Love Makes the Changes).

Sure, some of that intense smokiness that helped shape Anderson into one of the great R&B shouters of the 1950s has diminished. But her slighter blaze proves just as enticing on this brief (eight tracks, totaling just 45 minutes) assemblage of breezy, midtempo swingers (“Make Someone Happy,” “Day by Day,” “This Can’t Be Love” and a shimmering “A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening”) and soft ballads (“Skylark,” “For All We Know,” Leon Russell’s tender title tune and a distinctively mellow “Candy.”)

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