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Grace Kelly: Live at Scullers

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The new live album from Grace Kelly opens with “Please Don’t Box Me In,” the alto saxophone prodigy signaling her Esperanza Spalding-sized ambition to add singing and songwriting to her portfolio. That particular tune’s ambitiousness, ironically, makes it the disc’s weakest: The lyrics are earnest and trite, and Kelly’s singing in spots is overblown. “Night Time Star,” likewise, suffers from Hallmark sentiments, but is enlivened with solid solos from Kelly on alto and Peter McCann on electric guitar.

The disc’s remaining four vocal tracks, however, have a catchy, casual charm to them. “Eggshells” boasts a calypso feel provided by McCann’s guitar. “Ready, Set, Stay” is a poppy jewel co-written with singer-songwriter Emily Dale, its infectiously bubbly melody propelled by McCann’s ukulele and bowed cello by Eric Law. A similar vibe prevails on “Falling,” which adds whistling by trumpeter Jason Palmer and an audience sing-along to the uke and cello. “Kiss Away Your Tears” is a lovely ballad with a country feel, its sentiment coming across as more earned for being understated.

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