The new CD by Michelle Lordi features a mix of jazz, blues, R&B and country music. The best jazz tracks here are the opening Poor Bird, written by Michelle and the jazz standard Lover Man. On both she is well supported by the jerky, all-embracing solos from Donny McCaslin’s tenor and strong bass by Matthew Parrish. It is Parrish that opens both pieces with bass solos and introduces the vocalist who is expressive in her interpretations.
Michelle is warm and melodic on True Love, the ballad from High Society first heard from Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly in the film. She still manages to inject a measure of country blues into this track, as indeed she does on Wayward Wind and the Hank Williams classic, I’m So Lonely.
The Jagger and Richards opus No Expectations allows her to exercise her blues and R&B stylings, which she does convincingly. Much of the country flavourings come from the exotic guitar and electronics interjections by Tim Motzer who is well featured throughout. Michelle has two other compositions of her own and one co-written with Motzer.
Red House Serenata is a short workout for guitar, bass and drums which segues into Red House Blues and a rich, lyrical vocal from Ms Lordi. The tenor of McCaslin and the wide variety of electronic effects from Motzer add neatly to the overall effect of the music. Solid support too from bass and drums.
If you are OK with a dash of R&B and a country flavour on a few of the selections you will find this a melodic, slow burning but enjoyable jazz vocal album.
Poor Bird; Wayward Wind; Double-Crossed; True Love; Before; No Expectations; Lover Man; Red House; Serenata; Red House Blues; I’m So Lonesome (54.48)
Lordi (v); Donny McCaslin (ts); Tim Motzer (p); Matthew Parrish (b); Rudy Royston (d). No dates or location listed.
Cabinet Of Wonder Productions