The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music - John McBeath

Por­trait In­grid James & Louise Den­son New­mar­ket THIS all- Bris­bane pro­duc­tion of mostly orig­i­nals fea­tures vo­cal­ist In­grid James and pi­anist, com­poser and ar­ranger Louise Den­son lead­ing a strong quin­tet of lo­cal play­ers. In some ways this album has a slightly retro feel, with James’s voice pro­duc­ing nos­tal­gic facets of a Peggy Lee/ June Christy blend. Many of the tracks are in bal­lad tem­pos where Den­son’s fluid pi­ano pro­vides sub­stan­tial back­ing and thought­ful so­los, as in Lonely Wing . Faster pieces, such as Rent- a- Crowd — with a stand­out tenor solo by Mark Spencer — make good use of quin­tet voic­ings as a back­drop and to add em­bel­lish­ment. Drum­mer Joe Marchisella is an im­por­tant com­po­nent: as­sisted by bassist He­len Rus­sell, he drives ev­ery­thing along with ex­pert rhyth­mic punc­tu­a­tion. James has an im­pres­sive vo­cal range ca­pa­ble of ex­pres­sive phras­ing and tim­ing, but am­ple space is al­lowed for the mu­si­cians to per­form. Some of the lyrics strain a lit­tle in their search for ro­man­tic lit­er­acy, but their de­liv­ery and the en­com­pass­ing ar­range­ments tend to com­pen­sate.

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