Jazz vocalist Meryl Romer comes alight with a Billy Holiday radiance and a Dinah Washington caressive vocalese on her first recorded outing So Sure from the Lady Pearl Music label. Smooth romantic currents are slate with soul jazz lacing in these tracks. The album consists of three original pieces penned by Romer’s writer and producer Casey Collins and composer Eric Moon, in addition to nine standards. Romer handles the vocal melodies with finesse making these songs come to life. Whether she sings them in a café setting, a concert hall or in the privacy of a bedroom, they resonate with soul wrapped snugly in her sultry voicing. She sings these tunes as if they came out of her own autobiography, shading them with exquisite nuances and memorable moments of insight into the emotions behind the words.
You can come in at any point on the album and feel like this brew is something special. The New Orleans saloon-styled piano swells sowed along "I’ve Waited Long Enough" kick up its heels in bop-clad grooves and Romer’s earthy-toned vocals. The smoky organ rolls slinking along "Lady Is A Tramp" are crimped by saxophone twirls and jumping piano trills while Romer’s vocals act as the flint that lights the dance fuses. The mellow mood of "But Beautiful" feels introspective with words that spark one’s imagination, "And I’m thinking / If you were mine, I’d never let you go / And that would be but beautiful / I know." The album juts forward with the lounging smooth jazz sandbars of "Solomon Sang" and the soothing riffs of "You’re A Big Boy Now." These are the kind of tunes that let you close your eyes as they wash you away in its alluring entails.
Romer steps into soft boogaloo jazz vaunts along "Close Your Eyes" with locks of razz-a-ma-tazz in the piano keys. The gentle sconces surfing along "This Is Always" have the seductive glow of a lover’s lair with the nutrients of manna for the soul, while the burlesque curves of "Big Spender" have a coquettish flare shellac in silky tones. The whispery rumba mists of "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" are luxuriating, and then plunge into beautifully latticed saxophone swirls opening "Bluesette." The bluesy ragtime grooves of "Right On Time" are covered in jiggly piano keys and vocals that embrace the free spirits of the melody, before closing out the album with a stream of lamenting piano keys that form thin shadows coasting along the title track.
Romer’s songs exude a deep sense of pride and heart for jazz music. The song selection for So Sure showcases Romer’s vast palette to utter perfection. Her vocal style brings out these song’s beauty and listening pleasure. Let’s face it, Meryl Romer could sing MC Hammer’s "Can’t Touch This" and make it sound lacy and frilly and absolutely exquisite. She has that kind of touch. She is one of a kind.