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Bonnie Lowdermilk: Up To Now

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It has taken cool jazz singer/pianist Bonnie Lowdermilk a little more than a decade to resurface after releasing her debut CD This Heart Of Mine with the Fred Hersch Trio to deliver her follow-up album Up To Now. With all arrangements made by Lowdermilk, the album showcases a broad range of standards from the upbeat swing kilting of Cole Porter’s “Get Out Of Town” to Henry Mancini’s puttering carousal ride “Whistlin’ In The Dark,” in addition to a few originals written by Lowdermilk like the silky beading of “Bankin’ On The Moon” and the gently propelled “All That I Know.” Assisting Lowdermilk with the swing-inspired rhythms and carpeting of harmoniously groomed motifs are bassists Ken Walker and Mark Simon, drummer Colin Stranahan, trumpeter Greg Gisbert, saxophonist Peter Sommer, and trombonist Nelson Hingle.

Lowdermilk is schooled in tailoring her vocal melodies to the mood of the music as she vacillates from traipsing like a woodland sprite in “Day By Day” to crooning like a maiden whose fantasy-man has lost his luster in “You’ve Changed” and scatting like a cat indulging her freewill in “Joy Spring.” Her vocal strut boasts a self-assurance relatable to Diana Krall and a rhythmic chiming reflective of Dena DeRose. Lowdermilk adds personality and poignant inflections through Oscar Hammerstein II and Jerome Kern’s tune “Nobody Else But Me,” and evokes pure emotion along the wispy strokes of “Moon River” as her vocals advance and ebb along the ducts of lacy piano keys. The horn arrangement opening “Power Tool” exude a spirited rhapsody which switches directions and fosters a supper club atmosphere in “Dancing In The Dark.” Lowdermilk’s style of singing is dapper chaffed in roughly cut edges that give her resonance a rugged texture that is both real and attractive.

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