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Remembering Patsy Cline by Various Artists

Although not a jazz album per se, Remembering Patsy Cline, a tribute album consisting of 12 of Cline’s greatest hits, does draw upon the talents of singers embraced in the jazz world who also cross over to popular acclaim--Natalie Cole, Norah Jones, and Diana Krall. Released in 2003 by MCA Nashville, Remembering Patsy Cline is in recognition of Cline’s 71st birthday and the 30th anniversary of her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In terms of repertoire, the CD essentially parallels MCA’s 1988 Patsy Cline tribute 12 Greatest Hits. This tribute however, draws on singers from a variety of backgrounds--Jazz, country, folk, pop, rock, contemporary Christian and rhythm and blues.

At the height of her popularity in the early 1960’s, many of Patsy Cline’s songs crossed over the country market into the pop market. Certainly the songs on this CD demonstrate their efficacy of that capability regardless of the style treatment. One of the delights of this CD is hearing material arranged and produced with a fresh new approach that makes the song sound brand new rather than merely a rehash of what had done before. Certainly each singer brings to the song they perform the style they are most often affiliated. Natalie Cole, Norah Jones, and Diana Krall take approaches that have placed them in the jazz and pop/light jazz camps. Christian singer Amy Grant brings a western swing approach to "Back in Baby’s Arms," Lee Ann Womack, k.d. lang, Terry Clark, and Jessi Alexander bring their country chops into play. Michelle Branch and Patty Griffin who come from the singer/songwriter folk/rock/pop camp also add their individual styling to "Strange," and "Faded Love." On the song "Sweet Dreams" sung by Martina McBride, an added attraction are the tight harmonies and instrumental vocal sounds of the contemporary gospel/jazz a capella vocal group Take 6.

This CD is full of really nice enjoyable performances. To this reviewers ear, the four cuts that stand out on Remembering Patsy Cline are the ones by Natalie Cole, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, and Martina McBride with Take 6. An honorable mention goes to Amy Grant’s performance of "Back in Baby’s Arms." At least it swings. There are however, at least two drawbacks to this CD. One, who is the audience this recording will appeal to? Certainly Remembering Patsy Cline may be an indispensable addition to a diehard and adoring Patsy Cline fan. People who enjoy tribute recordings also may find some interest here. Fans of the singers who appear on the recording also may see this as a "must have" to complete their collection. Other than the true musical eclectic or the individual who purposely seeks to broaden their musical style horizons however, one may pay the price of a CD only to find two or three songs with great appeal. Another drawback to this CD is that there is less than 50 minutes of music. That isn’t particularly great value with the going retail price of CDs today.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Various Artists
  • CD Title: Remembering Patsy Cline
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: MCA Nashville
  • Rating: Three Stars
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