Fresh and local
BLACK GARDENIA LUCKY STAR
Black Gardenia’s sophomore effort is built on a brave idea. Mixing jazz and blues standards with a number of original tracks, the record could easily have been a mismatch of quality. Band leader Daphne Roubini, however, makes sure that’s not a possibility. Lending her Billie Holiday–esque lilt to classics like T-bone Walker’s gruff “I’m Just Waitin’ for Your Call” and adding a folk twist to Cole Porter’s “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To”, Roubini expertly ties the covers together with her rich, velvety vocals. Transporting listeners back to a time of martinis, lounge suits, and hazy cigarette smoke, all with an audio clarity that eludes remastered editions of jazz classics, Black Gardenia offers authoritative modern versions of those staples. The fact that Roubini’s originals are indistinguishable among the stacked lineup is the biggest compliment of all.