Personnel: Karen Akers (vocals); Andy Drelles (soprano & alto saxophones, English horn, flute, alto flute, clarinet, oboe); James Saporito (vibraphone, drums, percussion); Michael Abene, Mike Renzi (piano, keyboards); John Loehrke (acoustic & electric basses).
Recorded at Sound On Sound, New York City, New York in December 1993. Includes liner notes by Karen Akers.
Karen Akers relates the song choices on her fourth album, Just Imagine..., to her marriage to Kevin Power, which occurred only three months before the recording sessions. Thus, the material is, if anything, even more tilted toward the romantic than usual. But that is not to say that the emotional range and subject matter are limited. Rather, different aspects of a loving relationship are examined, for example in "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "I'd Rather Be Blue," both of which discuss aspects of life apart from the object of one's affection, an experience from which Akers frequently suffers, as she is quick to point out in her liner notes. Her medley of Barry Manilow's "I Am Your Child" and the Beatles' "She's Leaving Home," meanwhile, explores the difficulties of the love between parents and children. And Bill Russell and Janet Hood's "Angels, Punks and Raging Queens" is an affectionate look back at the pre-AIDS days of gay cabaret life in Greenwich Village in the '70s. Michael Abene, Akers' usual pianist/arranger, is spelled on six tracks by Mike Renzi, but the accompaniments are her usual tasteful, unobtrusive ones, with Andy Drelles adding his individual reed parts, John Loehrke a restrained bass, and Jim Saporito discreet percussion. The focus remains on Akers' voice and precise, considered phrasing, making for another excellent album from this top nightclub entertainer. ~ William Ruhlmann