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Once In A Lifetime by Karen Lane

Lane is one of a new breed of singer. She uses subtlety, intimacy and controlled phrasing to get a song across. Three originals from Karen are featured as well as nine standards plus an interesting version of Bill Laswell’s "Memory Serves".

"On Green Dolphin Street" is taken at a relaxed tempo. Lane delivers a sensuous reading with some nice comping from guitarist Dave Colton. Her voice weaves in and out of this rather haunting melody. Always in control of her voice, one gets the feeling that she is singing directly to you. Jeremy Brown provides a lightly touched bass solo before Lane continues with the vocal.

Listening to "The Good Life" reminded me of Tony Bennett’s version from years past. In the right hands and with the right voice, this ballad can take on a personality all it’s own. Never over exaggerating the phrasing, Lane remains in control throughout. Ballads are hard to play because you have to slow down, and be able to "feel" the song. Lane makes it though not only with her voice but also superb accompaniment from Robin Aspland’s lyrical piano as well as the rest of the band.

Martin Shaw’s trumpet begins "Memory Serves" adding an effective backdrop for Lane. Aspland retires the piano in favour of the Fender Rhodes giving the piece a rounder and textured feel. Shaw’s muted trumpet solidify’s the spirit of the song as well as weaving a fine musical thread.

"Till Death Do Us Part" is a contemporary sounding number written by Lane. This piece offers a nice balance to the rest of the CD. She has no trouble at all switching from a jazz to a more commercial mode.

This is a fine recording that should satisfy the ears of many listeners. Her inviting voice, intimate delivery and a rock solid band make this one to have in the repeated listening stack.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Karen Lane
  • CD Title: Once In A Lifetime
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Karen Lane
  • Tracks: Green Dolphin Street, Devil May Care, The Good Life, Lullabye Of Birdland, Sometimes I’m Happy, Love Is In Bloom , I Hadn’t Anyone Till You, Memory Serves, Here’s To Life, This Is It, Till Death Do Us Part, Love Me Or Leave Me, Once In A Lifetime.
  • Musicians: Karen Lane (Vocals), Dave Colton (Guitar), Robin Aspland (Piano/ Fender Rhodes), Jeremy Brown (Bass), Rod Youngs (Drums), Martin Shaw (Trumpet), Phil Peskett (Piano), Milo Fell (Percussion), Sam Burgess (Bass), Simon Pearson (Drums), Dave Jones (Bass), Josephine Knight (Cello), Laura Melhuish (Violin), Derek Nash (Sax).
  • Rating: Four Stars
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