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Released: January 27, 2004
1.You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
2.They Can't Take That Away From Me
4.The Very Thought of You
5.Love Me or Leave Me
6.Everything Happens to Me
8.Talk Of The Town / Get Out Of Town
10.Meaning of the Blues
11.It Might as Well Be Spring
12.These Foolish Things
13.Still Good Friends
Personnel includes: Cheryl Bentyne (vocals); David "Fathead" Newman (saxophone); Chuck Mangione (flugelhorn); Kenny Barron, Corey Allen (piano); John Patitucci (bass); Lewis Nash (drums); Don Alias (percussion).
Recorded at Systems Two, Brooklyn, New York in 2002.
Cheryl Bentyne is justly celebrated for her work as the soprano voice in Manhattan Transfer, but her work outside of that ensemble is just as impressive, if sometimes less flashy. This solo album, in fact, is notable for its lack of pyrotechnical wizardry, and is all the stronger for it. Focusing almost exclusively on standards, Talk of the Town finds Bentyne singing with an almost Ella Fitzgerald-like transparency, imposing little of her own ego on the material and avoiding heavy-handed interpretation. This is not to say that she sings without personality or style -- simply that she sings like someone who wants to showcase the songs themselves rather than her own artistry. The result is quietly spectacular: on straightforwardly melodic fare like Cole Porter's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" and the classic ballad "These Foolish Things," the songs are like jewels in simple but lush settings; on more difficult numbers, such as "Little Butterfly" (which consists of lyrics by Jon Hendricks set to the Thelonious Monk composition "Pannonica"), she negotiates the tricky changes with grace and deceptive ease. Bentyne's voice sounds the way a warm shower feels. Very highly recommended. ~ Rick Anderson