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Toni Ballard: I’m Your Pal

Vocalist Toni Ballard has an actor’s ability to change her mood as the song-role indicates. Hers is a crystal clear sound with a straightforward style that allows the lyrics to shine through. She delivers familiar love songs beautifully, such as “My One and Only Love” with its strings and flute arrangement, or “The Song Is You” enriched by strong horn work. The tracks range from trio backing to a vocal-guitar rendition of the title song with Larry Coryell and a three-part harmony dubbing on “Taking a Chance on Love.” An added attraction is the comical “Three-Bass Hit” featuring Bob Simonelli dueling with Harve Swartz double-tracked on pizzicato and bowed basses.

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