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At Long Last Love by Trish Colter

Trish Colter is no one's cooing songbird. The bulk of At Long Last Love finds the Canadian singer fearlessly belting out standards with a full, brassy voice. The CD is balanced out by a ballad co-written by her husband Paul Read, also the album's arranger and pianist, and two compositions by Read that find her harmonizing in a softer vocalese style.

The arrangements and supporting musicianship is top-notch. A set including the title tune and other warhorses like "The Very Thought of You" could be disastrous in the hands of disinterested performers, but the group here seems consistently inspired and comes up with fresh readings. Colter's treatment of the lyrics is consistently assured, and her harmonies on Read's "For the Three of Us" and "Prayer (for Eddie)" helps make those two tracks the album's high points, along with the interplay between Read and saxophonist/flutist Pat LaBarbera that recalls McCoy Tyner and John Coltrane. Her attempts at scat are mixed; she does well on the opening "You Make Me Feel So Young" but, ironically, is less successful in her solo on the title cut. Drummer Kevin Dempsey is steady and adds color in just the right places while establishing a good rapport with bassist Pat Collins. Trumpeter Chase Sanborn adds some nice solos, while Read and LaBarbera star throughout.

Overall, this is a very nice set indeed. The traditional numbers sound evergreen in the hands of these talented musicians, and should please any fan of vocal jazz. The three originals are the most intriguing tracks on this album, though, and hopefully future releases from Colter and Read will feature more of their own compositions.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Trish Colter
  • CD Title: At Long Last Love
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2001
  • Record Label: Reaco Recordings
  • Rating: Three Stars
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