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Trudy Desmond: My One and Only

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Toronto-based singer Trudy Desmond brought together some of her favorite Canadian and New York musicians to tip her hat towards George Gershwin on the centennial of his birth. In her hands, My One and Only is anything but a schlocky tribute session. A singer of great vocal clarity, Desmond was careful to find material that has not been overdone, and was able to imprint her own interpretation on those, as well as the Gershwin standard fare. Her renditions of “I Got Rhythm” and “Fascinatin’ Rhythm,” which are the first two tunes, are splendid. On the former, she’s backed only by bass and percussion, with bassist Neil Swainson turning the tune into a voice-bass dialogue. They gently and elegantly tease their way through the tune, whose chord changes are deeply imbedded in the jazz genre but are rarely treated with such subtlety. Desmond also unearthed two wordless gems for vocal treatment: “Promenade (Walking the Dog)” from a scene in the Fred and Ginger movie Shall We Dance and “Piano Prelude: II.” Other strong support comes from pianists Bill Mays and Don Thompson and guitarist Ed Bickert and drummer Ron Vincent, working exclusively on brushes.