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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

CHRISTY BARON

By VINCENT ATTARD
Published April 7, 2006

Take This Journey
Chesky

In the liner notes to Take This Journey, co-producer and bassist David Finck writes, “How lucky we are!”  Those words seem to point to a musician clearly in on something special. Any artist who can sandwich an original composition (the Finck-penned “Gentle Journey”) between a Sondheim standard (“Not While I’m Around) and a ’60s pop hit (the Turtles’ “Happy Together”), and make you swear the same pen wrote all three, is, in Finck’s words, a “true communicator.” Christy Baron delivers a vocal style warm, endearing and functionally tight. Woodwind player David Mann carries a passionate Baron through soothing interpretations of Carole King’s “Stand Behind Me” and Stevie Wonder’s “Overjoyed.” While other contemporary jazz vocalists like Jane Monheit and Diana Krall often overcook interpretations in cabaret schemes (showboating or playing dress-up in Ella or Billie), Baron keeps it honest, making the tunes as much about her band as herself. A worthy journey for those who enjoy vocal jazz that’s consistent and fancy-free.