Charmin could have easily been a member of the Shirelles. Her lilting voice, positive, articulate delivery and great sense of fun herald back to an age (a golden one at that) when you had the likes of Esther Phillips, Dinah Washington and so many other female vocalists offering their own personal interpretations from the American Songbook. If this woman swung any more, your CD would start to mistrack.
"Love Me Or Leave Me" is a bouncy number introducing us to this one of a kind talent. Her band swings nicely behind her. Her phrasing throughout is direct and to the point. By the third chorus, she’s in full swing.
Her story telling abilities are highlighted on "Destination Moon". Her warm, poignant delivery makes you wonder if she had any experience in stage presentations. After listening to this song, you feel like you can take a trip anywhere in the universe. Great trombone work from Pete Masters and sax player Doug Haining who by the way are perfect for Charmin’s style of singing. Never overemphasizing the solo, and always aware of the piece, all I can say is that it works to great effect.
Ellington’s "Mood Indigo" is certainly one of the highlights from this recording. Smooth throughout, and pacing herself with the melody while the band offers up a beautifully arranged chart, that Duke would be proud of. Charmin takes her time, developing her lines with an innocence, and sense of believability that is to say the least convincing. Haining’s sax work along with Master’s trombone add the icing on this proverbial cake.
Charmin’s swinging abilities, and bouncy rhythmic chart can be heard on this upbeat version of "Your Mother’s Son-In-Law. The band is great. Solid drumming from Dick Bortolussi.
Charmin’s blues influences shine throughout "The Blues Are Brewin". Sounding like a young Billie Holiday, Charmin continues to surprise. This woman can really transcend the spirit of the blues in a contemporary setting.
One of the most beautiful lyrics are from the Sigman and Russell composition, "Crazy He Calls Me". Here is another example of Charmin’s storytelling skill. Woven beautifully into the melody, her smooth convincing delivery, with a sense of conviction, is a perfect example of what it means to not only sing the notes, but ride the notes, and caress them as well. Beautiful piano from Ronnie Neuman.
Charmin’s ease of singing, as if she was singing for you alone, are one of her many charms. Her ability to work as a vocalist within the group rather than separate from it, and also her choice of material are key attributes that will carry Charmin to many more musical adventures. Let’s hope that we are able to hear more from this gifted musician soon.