Personnel: Christy Baron (vocals); George Young (saxophone); William Galison (chromatic harmonica); David Finck (acoustic bass); Payton Crossley (drums).
Recorded at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, New York, New York on August 27-30, 1996.
I Thought About You, Christy Baron's first album, demonstrated that a singer doesn't need the massive chops of Dianne Reeves or Dee Dee Bridgewater in order to deliver a convincing jazz vocal date. Instead of going for hard bop or providing a lot of complex, horn-like scatting and vocalese, the Pittsburgh native favors a light and melodic approach that is best described as "acoustic jazz with R&B and pop elements." One of the things that makes the CD successful is the fact that Baron doesn't bite off more than she can chew -- though soulful and capable of depth, someone with as sweet and youthful a voice as Baron probably wouldn't have been very convincing on Billy Strayhorn's world-weary "Lush Life." But the singer shows how tasteful an interpreter of lyrics she can be on selections ranging from the standards "Night and Day" and "Body and Soul," to no less than three Stevie Wonder pearls: "Summer Soft," "Knocks Me off My Feet," and "If It's Magic." And her performance of Noel Brasil's "Columbus" is simply gorgeous. Thankfully, Baron realizes that great popular music didn't die with Cole Porter, and her ability to find the jazz potential in songs by the Beatles ("Got to Get You into My Life"), Bill Withers ("Ain't No Sunshine") and Wonder is a major asset. Though not well-known, I Thought About You indicated that Baron was someone to keep an eye on. ~ Alex Henderson