Reverie is a good title for this release as it is a fairly low key set of ballads and slow to medium pieces that float along amiably without generating much excitement. It’s more of a jazz vocal record to relax to on a lazy Saturday afternoon or for late night listening in a dark room.
Nine tracks are by Ms Wicks in collaboration with Ken Nottingham or Nick Allison. The opener, A Love For Just Part is sung with warmth by Carrie with just a hint of huskiness and quietly. Bassist Jeff Johnson gets a short solo burst to provide contrast. The next selection has a Latin flavour which Ms Wicks sings in Spanish. As the originals by the vocalist and her co-writers are not particularly memorable it is interesting to look to the three compositions by other people.
Best and a standout track is Some Other Spring, that 1939 Herzog/Kitchings popular melody that went out of favour for decades and has only comparatively recently been revived. Ms Wicks sings the lyric with a degree of regret and melancholy, complementing the words. Wide Open is an attractive melody by the singer and Nottingham that moves along gently at slow tempo and features Carrie singing what I can only describe as “slow scat”. This is arguably the best of the originals and the group give it a good workout. Some of these pieces, like Shadow Play, do grow on the listener.
A Secret Place, by Paul Sawyer, is a pretty melody that suits Ms Wicks’ soft crooning style very well and pianist Bill Anschell supports her very well both in his introduction, accompanying lines and with a lyrical, light-touch solo reminiscent of Bill Evans. Meet Me In No Special Place ends the recital on a light, humorous note. Here the tempo rises just fractionally as Carrie sings about meeting in no special place where she will be at no particular time. A little more scat and a rather lively workout from piano bass and drums round it all out.
If you like laidback singers with good phrasing, timing and an individual sounding vocal approach, this should suit you rather well.
A Love For Just Part; Paginas En Blanco; Wide Open; Shadow Play; Some Other Spring; Spider Rain; Elephant In The Room; Remember; Safe In This World; Late June; A Secret Place; Meet Me at No Special Place (53.45)
Wicks (v); Bill Anschell (p); Jeff John son (b); D’Vonne Lewis (d); Brent Jensen (ss, as). Richmond Beach, WA, 29 January 2019.
OA2 Records 22175