CD Never Let Me Go [Monica Worth] (CD 1000007),
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Never Let Me Go [Monica Worth]

  • 1. Shall We Dance?
    2. Lazy Afternoon
    3. You Must Believe in Spring
    4. Going Out of My Head (For You)
    5. Hello Young Lovers
    6. Never Let Me Go
    7. I'll Be Seeing You
    8. I'm Old Fashioned
    9. Overjoyed
    10. I'm in the Mood For Love
    11. It Never Entered My Mind
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 6732

  • Credits
    ProducerLarry Willis
    EngineerPierre M. Sprey

    Personnel: Monica Worth (vocals); Janice Martin (violin); Larry Willis (piano); Keter Betts (bass); Jimmy Cobb (drums); Rick Schmidt Strings.
    Recorded at Mapleshade Studio, Upper Marlboro, Maryland in April 1997. Includes liner notes by Pierre Sprey.
    For decades, people in the jazz world have been debating what does and doesn't constitute a jazz singer. Some bop snobs will insist that you aren't a true jazz singer if you don't spend a lot of time scatting your way through Dizzy Gillespie or Clifford Brown songs at 500 miles an hour; more broad-minded listeners, however, realize that not every jazz vocalist is obligated to be a purist. Never Let Me Go, the Mapleshade debut by singer Monica Worth, is jazz-oriented without being the work of a jazz purist. Greatly influenced by Morgana King, Worth doesn't stick to hardcore jazz or cater to bop snobs -- you won't hear her scat singing John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" or delivering a vocalese version of Charlie Parker's "Ornithology" on this release. Traditional pre-rock pop and cabaret are influences, and Worth obviously isn't going to be compared to someone as challenging as Sheila Jordan -- that isn't the type of approach she is going for. But while Never Let Me Go isn't the most cutting-edge CD in the world, it is a likable, if derivative, effort that paints an attractive picture of the King-minded singer. Worth has a lovely alto, and she shows herself to be an expressive interpreter of lyrics on well-known standards like "I'll Be Seeing You" and "Lazy Afternoon." To her credit, she realizes that worthwhile popular music didn't die with George Gershwin; this 1997 session also finds Worth successfully turning her attention to Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed" and Little Anthony & the Imperials' "Going out of My Head." The latter might seem an unlikely choice for a jazz-oriented vocalist, but in fact the '60s song works well for Worth. Never Let Me Go doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, but it's a pleasant debut from someone who is worth keeping an eye on. ~ Alex Henderson

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