Singer Aubrey Wilson has a gentle and very youthful voice, her diction is clear and her interpretation of lyrics intelligent. The repertoire chosen for the album is filled with gems from decades long past which while familiar are not sung and played as often as many might like by young musicians of today. Although firmly associated with Nat King Cole, Eden Ahbez’s Nature Boy also reflects times and attitudes that were filled with hope and its theme deserves to be heard again in these less hopeful times.
Similarly linked to an artist of yesteryear are Fred Ahlert and Joe Young’s I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter and Fats Waller and Andy Razaf’s Honeysuckle Rose, both of which inevitably bring Waller’s versions to the minds of listeners of a certain age, comments which might well not apply to younger members of the audience.
In the event, these performances are as different as can be from the originals. For example, the customarily jaunty Honeysuckle Rose is given a brooding, melancholic treatment that is surprisingly apt. The piano, bass and drums of Chris Bruder, Tom Altobelli and Sean Bruce Parker blend very well with the singer. Billed as The Aubrey Wilson Quartet, this really is exactly that and not simply a singer with trio.
Although this is their first own-name album, these four young musicians have worked together for about 10 years and their familiarity and understanding is apparent throughout. The guest soloists add effective moments and there is an interesting variation in sound when Bruder switches to Wurlitzer organ. This collaboration is a very attractive addition to the growing number of young musicians emerging onto the international scene from their Canadian base.
Nature Boy; Honeysuckle Rose; Alice In Wonderland; I Will Wait For You; I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter; Stolen Moments; When Sonny Gets Blue; Lullaby Of The Leaves; When I Look In Your Eyes; Norwegian Wood (39.00)
Wilson (v); Chris Bruder (p, org); Tom Altobelli (b); Sean Bruce Parker (d) and Luis Deniz (as, on I Will Wait For You, Lullaby Of The Leaves); Scott Taplay (g, on Nature Boy, Honeysuckle Rose). 2020, Toronto.
AW Music AWM 001