Thursday, January 26, 2017

Marlene Ver Planck The Mood I'm In

Marlene Ver Planck
The Mood I'm In

The many charms of vocalist Marlene Ver Planck are evident as she sings the title track of her latest Audiophile release The Mood I'm In. This bright and brisk vocal displays the warmth she brings backed by a terrific trio of John Pearce, piano, Paul Morgan, Bass, and Bobby Worth, drums, with Mark Nightingale adding trombone behind her marvelous and joyful delivery on this performance. This recording is her 24th for the Audiophile label, and indication of her longevity as a performer and a singer of song. This trio, trombonist Nightingale and saxophonist/flautist Any Panayi recorded this during one of her annual tours of England.

This is a marvelous collection of songs, and while they come from legendary composers and songwriters as Harry Warren, Duke Ellington, Billy Eckstine, Benny Carter, Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen, and Henry Mancini, these are songs that are not overly well done. These lyrical gems include her reflective delivery of the Kohler-Warren "Me and the Blues" with a deliciously gruff trombone solo on a number Mildred Bailey recorded in 1946, as well the bouncy rendition of the Troup and Mancini penned "Free and Easy," that opens with just her and bassist Morgan before the full trio and a touch of flute. A particular favorite is the lovely ballad,"It Shouldn't Happen To a Dream," from Duke Ellington, Don George and Johnny Hodges. This is another of the performances in which Nightingale's trombone adds so much to the performance. He also does on her wistful rendition of "All Too Soon," another gem from the Ellington songbook with lyrics by Carl Sigman. Billy Eckstine's "I Want To Talk About You" is another marvelous love song with lovely flute by Panayi who switches to tenor for the buoyant treatment of Cahn-VanHeusen's "Come on Strong" where she briefly scats with some highly energetic sax.

There are other delights that Marlene Ver Planck brings us in The Mood I'm In, with wonderful vocals, terrific backing, and a selection of choice, lesser-known songs. 

I received a review copy from a publicist. This review originally appeared in the July-August 2016 Jazz & Blues Report (Issue 367). Here she is in performance.

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