Friday, August 30, 2013

Barbara Morrison - A Sunday Kind of Love

Scott Yanow suggests that vocalist Barbara Morrison is one of those singers that transcend categories by simply being herself. Perhaps best known for the 21 years she spent with Johnny Otis, Ms. Morrison certainly demonstrates her way with a song on a new Savant Records release, A Sunday Kind of Love. A stated on the cover, this recording features the tenor saxophone of Houston Person with a rhythm section of Stuart Elster on piano, Richard Simon on bass and Lee Spath on drums, that has been backing her for seven years.

From the opening moments of Duke Ellington's I'm Just a Lucky So and So, to the closing notes of the Al Green classic Let's Stay Together, Morrison brings displays her roots in classic blues and rhythm music (as on the opening title track), as well as her ability to caress a lyric, displayed on the Billie Holiday classic Good Morning Heartache. The moods swing from romantic on the title track (and her rendition joins Etta James' recording as among my favorites of this song) to being playful on The Green Door. Tinges of her maturity may be heard in her voice, but it lends character to her singing. 

And then there is Houston Person. Is he ever not superb backing a singer? Throughout this recording, Person is marvelous. With the combination of the veteran song stylist, swinging trio and the terrific Houston Person, A Sunday Kind of Love is simply superb.

I received my review copy from the record company. Here is Barbara singing Let's Stay Together.

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