Rumpus Room Records 3716101 (www.hollycole.com)
Singer Holly Cole continues her stylish ways with her latest release. Her first studio album in five years, Night is a return to collaboration with the bandmates of the last two decades that helped establish her as the fine song interpreter she is. So pianist and arranger, Aaron Davis, David Piltch on bass, sax and reed player John Johnson and drummer Davide Direnzo are the core players and provide clever nuanced support throughout. The theme of the album isn’t obviously represented by the song titles as not an “evening” or “night” song is to be found. But there’s a wee-small-hours-of-the-morning feel that permeates throughout.
The opening tune sets the tone as the group eases through a languid You Only Live Twice with dreamy pedal steel courtesy of Greg Leisz. Then we’re led through a range of stories courtesy of some well-known songwriters like Tom Waits (the swampy Walk Away) and others a little more obscure but no less poignant, like Danny O’Keefe (Good Time Charlie’s Got the Blues). Even when the energy gets kicked up, as it does on Viva Las Vegas – complete with 60s style horns and a smokin’ flute solo from John Johnson -- there’s an appealing coolness that pervades. Cole and her band’s tune-picking abilities and powers of interpretation are in abundance on Night and fans will not be disappointed.
Masterclass: Holly Cole will be joining the clinicians at the Jazz On The Mountain at Blue festival July 5 to present her own class on “the art of the voice and the bass.” (www.bluemountainjazzfest.com)