Personnel: Kathleen Battle (vocals); Marlon Graves (guitar, percussion); Romero Lubambo, Jon Herrington (guitar); James Carter (bass clarinet); Grover Washington, Jr. (soprano saxophone); Antonio Hart (alto saxophone); Tom Harrell (flugelhorn); Cyrus Chestnut (piano); Christian McBride, Ira Coleman (bass); Cyro Baptista, Steven Berrios (percussion).
Engineers include: Michael Krowiak, Patrick Dillett, Brian Vibberts.
Personnel: Kathleen Battle (vocals); Marlon Graves (guitar, percussion); Jon Herrington, Romero Lubambo (guitar); James Carter (bass clarinet); Grover Washington, Jr. (soprano saxophone); Antonio Hart (alto saxophone); Tom Harrell (flugelhorn); Cyrus Chestnut (piano); Steve Berrios, Cyro Baptista (percussion).
Audio Mixers: Brian Vibberts; Mike Krowiak; Robert Sadin.
Recording information: Clinton Recording Studios; HIt Factory; Power Station; R.P.M. Sound Studios; Unique Recording Studios.
Photographers: Joyce Tenneson; Jimmy Katz.
Arranger: Robert Sadin.
So Many Stars is the kind of album you want to hate. The idea of blending Kathleen Battle's soprano voice with accomplished jazz musicians such as Grover Washington, Jr. and Cyrus Chestnut is the sort of idea that makes most serious music fans cringe. Surprisingly, Battle manages to pull it off. She succeeds because of her subdued approach, which is a bit of a surprise considering that the artist is best known for her raging temper. She takes on several familiar songs such as "Steal Away," "Going Home," and "The Little Horses," but never tries to overpower them. Equally impressive is her work on Spanish and Portuguese tunes such as "Azulao" and "Para Ni¤ar." If most classical musicians took the kind of meticulous care that Battle does with So Many Stars, maybe the idea of crossover classical music would not be one that so many music lovers reflexively hate. ~ Jon Azpiri