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Ernestine Anderson: Isn’t it Romantic

Can it be possible that Ernestine Anderson’s singing career spans four decades and more? Her voice is as strong as ever, just this side of husky, on Isn’t It Romantic, a collection of standard ballads by Rogers/Hart and others. Backed by the Netherlands Metropole Orchestra, Anderson is in her element with this material. Conducted by Jerry van Rooyen, the Dutch orchestra has been collaborating with top international jazz musicians for more than half a century for both radio broadcasts, and at the North Sea Jazz Festival. Here, they provide a lush backdrop for one of the jazz world’s mellowest voices.

The challenge of singing overly familiar material, such as the Young/Washington tune, “My Foolish Heart,” or “You’re My Everything,” by Warren/Dixon/You, is to breathe new life into the lyrics. Ernestine Anderson’s warm, straightforward delivery does just that. Though she’s a flexible artist-a recent recording for her mentor Quincy Jones’ Qwest label had Anderson singing pop tunes-Anderson reigns supreme when she sings the great standards. It is romantic-and much more than that.

Originally Published