Joanne Brackeen: Popsicle Illusion

Joanne Brackeen is capable of engaging the listener in various ways. Her stride-driven arrangement of “If I Were a Bell” might be in 7/4 time, but it still swings like crazy. She turns The Beatles’ ballad “Michelle” into a meditation, and transforms Ellington’s “Prelude to a Kiss” into an impressionistic rhapsody. Her booting, boogie-woogie “Knickerbocker Blues” is positively righteous, and the title track is filled with slippery surprises. There’s no predicting where Brackeen will take you, but it’s always worth the trip.