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Carla Cook: It’s All About Love

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Carla Cook is inspiring evidence that the art and soul of jazz singing is alive and well. The performances embodied in this recording are the preservation of a tradition, and its extension. Cook shows the range of her musical tributaries in a repertoire that includes two of her own compositions and selections by Rodgers and Hart, Kern and Fields, Kurt Weill, Marvin Gaye, Milton Nascimento, and Neil Young. Each of these vehicles bends to her musical will-some, it must be said, more gracefully than others. The power of her approach is most evident in the gospel hymn, “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand.” The radiance she achieves in this performance seems to light up the entire disc. Cyrus Chestnut, Andy Milne, Regina Carter and Billy Kilson stand out among her accompanists.