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This Is Always by Maureen Kennedy

Maureen Kennedy is a Canadian vocalist based in Toronto. She has a voice that soothes the soul with a distinct sound that is reminiscent of some of the jazz greats from another era. Her sound is pure, her phrasing precise and her style swings. The twelve songs that she has covered on her debut CD This Is Always are from composers such as, Cole Porter, Billy Strayhorn, Jimmy Van Heusen and Irving Berlin. The song selection however makes this a very fresh performance. Adding to the quality of the performance are her accompanists. A superb trio led by Nancy Walker on piano, Kieran Overs playing bass and drummer Anthony Michelli.

Maureen Kennedy excels on the Porter tunes, "After You" and "Get Out Of Town" for me the hi-light tune of the album that comes across with a swinging intensity. Other tunes that have a swing feel, "You For Me" composed by Bob Haymes. And a surprising take on "Who Knows Where The Time Goes" a Sandy Denny composition (a UK folk artist). The arrangement is by Nancy Walker. Another of her arrangements that comes across delightfully is the Irving Berlin standard "Let's Face The Music And Dance".

"Illusion" with lyrics by Judy Tate and music composed by Tchaikovsky is another wonderful song that has a great feel to it. The song sounds familiar; it has that jazz standard feel to it.

"River Man" by Nick Drake (another folk rocker, who like Sandy Denny passed away tragically in the seventies) gets a contemporary jazz spin. "Dreamer" by Lees and Jobim is performed as a ballad that showcases the rich lush tones of Kennedy as she purrs through this classic Jobim tune.

This Is Always is vocal jazz at its best. The song selection makes it sound timeless. The trio in support are a cohesive unit that supports Ms. Kennedy on every level. The album is well produced by the bassist Kieran Overs, whose jazz chops are impeccable.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Maureen Kennedy
  • CD Title: This Is Always
  • Genre: Jazz Vocals
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Baldwin Street Music
  • Tracks: This Is Always, After You, Get Out Of Town, River Man, Love Came, You For Me, Dreamer, Let’s Face The Music And Dance, Humpty Dumpty Heart, Illusion, Winter Of My Discontent, Who Knows Where The Time Goes
  • Musicians: Maureen Kennedy (vocals), Nancy Walker (piano), Kieran Overs (double bass), Anthony Michelli (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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