For her Concord Records debut, legendary vocalist Rita Coolidge pays tribute to her longstanding affection for jazz by presenting this newly-recorded collection of well-loved pop/jazz standards. Nearly five years in development, this polished collection of gems showcases a true American original at the height of her creative powers.
Personnel: Rita Coolidge (vocals); Chuck Berghofer, Darek Oles, Dave Carpenter (bass instrument); Larry Koonse, Sandro Albert (guitar); Stefanie Fife (cello); Bob Sheppard (flute, alto flute, soprano saxophone); Ronnie Cuber (baritone saxophone); Herb Alpert (trumpet); Russell Ferrante (piano, synthesizer); Alan Pasqua (piano); Dave Samuels (vibraphone); Ralph Humphrey, Terri Lyne Carrington (drums); Alex Acu¤a (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Rich Breen .
Recording information: Castle Oaks Studios, Calabasas, CA; Firehouse Studios, Pasadena, CA.
Arrangers: Russell Ferrante; Alan Pasqua.
It seems increasingly common for once-popular artists to resurface years after their heyday. What's so interesting is how they resurface. Who would've imagined Rita Coolidge, like other popular '70s singers, re-emerging 30 years down the line as a singer of jazz classics? But Coolidge, like Debby Boone before her, has done exactly that, releasing a collection of classic songs on Concord Records. Backed by a small jazz combo, And So Is Love has a classy feel to it, but it's Coolidge's resonant vocals that bring the set together. While most of the material is older, and a number of pieces like "Cry Me a River" and "Come Rain or Come Shine" come from the golden age of song, she also includes Boz Scaggs' "We're All Alone" and makes it work. In fact, "We're All Alone" is one of the highlights of the album, with Coolidge transforming it into a lovely jazz standard. Her performance here also leads one to pause: are there other songs of recent vintage that would -- like old standards -- work just as well in a jazz context? Another icon from the past shows up -- Herb Alpert -- on "Estate" to lend his trademark trumpet style to the song's Latin mood. For old fans, mainstream jazz fans, and anyone who appreciates classy treatments of classic songs, Coolidge's And So Is Love is an enjoyable listen. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.