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Monday, May 06, 2013

CD Review: Under Your Spell: Thisbe Vos


Thisbe Vos (vocals); Gary Matsumoto (piano); Henry Franklin (bass); Donald Dean (drums); Nolan Shaheed (trumpet); Geoff Nudell (clarinets and flutes);  Carl Randall (tenor sax); Michael Higgins (guitar); and the Pasadena String Ensemble
(Review by Ann Alex).
Dutch-born Thisbe Vos has given us a stunningly good album of songs, mostly romantic, and mostly self-penned.  She has immense talent as a songwriter, producing songs in the gasbook tradition in which she is obviously immersed. She says she is influenced by Berlin, Gershwin and Porter.  For instance in her song Just A Fool Over You, she sings ‘your lips a cause for celebration’, which is just the sort of amusing romantic exaggeration that appears in many gasbook songs.  She is well supported by these more than competent musicians, with solos of rippling piano, sensitive bass, drums and guitar, and lots of effective brass, horn and clarinets – good to hear clarinet for a change.  The strings on a few of the tracks add much to the romance.
Shanghai Blues has clarinet complementing the blues feel – ‘it’s like a play without cues’, she sings in a pleasing sweet (not too sweet) voice; the title track, Under Your Spell, uses slow romantic strings; I Need You has a swinging piano solo – this woman certainly knows how to sing swing.  And she does well with the standards: I Thought About You is sung without copying the Sinatra timing, which gives the song quite a different feel; there’s a sensitive Round Midnight and a lively He’s A Tramp; and the CD is rounded off with happy versions of Always and Ain’t Misbehavin.  And I must mention the amusing Rue de la Huchette, the only song not about romance, but a list of Parisian streets, especially praising the street of the title, with excellent accompaniment which gives the feeling of travelling along the streets mentioned.
Under Your Spell by Thisbe Vos was released in mid April on the Prime Productions label. 
Ann Alex.

2 comments :

Lance said...

What a super singer - reminds me of Peggy Lee (looks a bit like her too!) This is going on to my not so short list!

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