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Sing! Went the Strings of My Heart by Loretta Cormier

Prior to settling in San Antonio, Loretta Cormier performed in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. The Texas-based jazz singer has now released her debut CD encompassing 13 standards by some of America's great writers of the 20s through 1950. The album title is a play on James Hanley's 1935 composition, "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart."

"Zing" is something that this songstress has in abundance. Loretta has a fine, mature voice that projects genuine warmth on every song she performs. Her influences were Chris Connor, Lee Wiley, Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Like Tony Bennett, Loretta has a wonderful sense of time and phrasing. I was truly impressed by her rendition of Irving Berlin's "The Best Thing For You" and Gershwin's "But Not For Me." It's nice to hear a vocalist singing the verse as they did in the 30s. Most modern vocalists dismiss the "verse" as an unnecessary chore when, in fact, it sets the mood of the song.

The musicians chosen for the session are top notch and appear in an unconventional format. The cornet is seldom heard today outside traditional jazz groups. The addition of "hot violin" is again unusual but most welcome. Sebastian Campesi a great violinist in the tradition of Joe Venuti and I'd love to hear him on his own CD in the future.

Not to be ignored are saxophonist Jay Fort and cornetist Cecil Carter who contribute greatly to the success of this performance. Jay is outstanding on "Why Try to Change Me Now." Pianist Morris Nelms and the rhythm section have obviously accompanied Ms. Cormier for quite a while. The Morris Nelms solo on "The Man I Love" is superb and the tune is rendered in a great up-tempo fashion with neat drum and bass fills.

This session is worthy of your attention. Sound samples are on line at the artist's website.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Loretta Cormier
  • CD Title: Sing! Went the Strings of My Heart
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 1998
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Musicians: Loretta Cormier - vocals; Morris Nelms - piano; Darrel Tidaback - bass; Kyle Keener - drums; Cecil Carter - cornet; Sebastian Campesi - violin; Jay Fort - alto & tenor sax.
  • Rating: Five Stars
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