Following a long absence, Bobbe Norris is back on record with her deep contralto, expressive phrasing, centered intonation and exquisite time sense. She marshals all of those attributes in “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,” with only John Wiitala’s bass as accompaniment. The performance would be the piece de resistance of just about any singer’s album, but Norris matches it in several standards and “I’d Rather Be Here,” a nifty new jazz-cum-showbiz song by her pianist-husband Larry Dunlap. Dunlap accompanies her, sings on two tracks and leads a combo in his arrangements. Mark Murphy joins her in a sultry version of “Invitation,” but Norris needs no guest star to make her reappearance a cause for celebration.
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