Nancy Wilson - Turned to Blue (2006)

Nancy Wilson
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Two years after wowing jazz audiences with R.S.V.P., her greatest album in years, Nancy Wilson has returned with Turned to Blue, another traditional jazz vocal album that largely follows the template of R.S.V.P.  Again Wilson teams with some of jazz's greatest players, with featured performances by such legends as Hubert Laws, James Moody and Dr. Billy Taylor.  And again Wilson handles songs largely celebrating her stage of life, where maturity provides a more thoughtful view of love and romance.  Her voice, deeper now, provides an pensive take on such classics as "Be My Love" and "This Is All I Ask" as well as on new material like the title cut (based on lyrics from a poem written by Wilson's friend and former Poet Laureate of the United States, Maya Angelou).  Best of all is her big band cover of "Taking A Chance On Love," which she glides through effortlessly.

Two years after wowing jazz audiences with R.S.V.P., her greatest album in years, Nancy Wilson has returned with Turned to Blue, another traditional jazz vocal album that largely follows the template of R.S.V.P.  Again Wilson teams with some of jazz's greatest players, with featured performances by such legends as Hubert Laws, James Moody and Dr. Billy Taylor.  And again Wilson handles songs largely celebrating her stage of life, where maturity provides a more thoughtful view of love and romance.  Her voice, deeper now, provides an pensive take on such classics as "Be My Love" and "This Is All I Ask" as well as on new material like the title cut (based on lyrics from a poem written by Wilson's friend and former Poet Laureate of the United States, Maya Angelou).  Best of all is her big band cover of "Taking A Chance On Love," which she glides through effortlessly.

The material and arrangements on R.S.V.P. were uniformly inspired, and Turned to Blue does not fare quite as well.  On occasion, the arrangements appear to focus more on spotlighting the featured artist than on working with Wilson's vocals.  And some songs (most notably a cover of James Ingram's "Just Once") simply don't work.  Fortunately, enough on the album does, making this a worthwhile, if not essential, addition to Wilson's enviable catalog.

CR

 

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