If a pretty melody can brighten your day, try a dozen sung in the rich, warm, soaring and sweet voice of Connye Florance. You could call "Turn My Heart" - this jazz vocalist's debut - an aural antidepressant.
Backed by a talented quartet and some impressive guests, Florance gives a distinctive treatment to a well-chosen collection of standards and new tunes that celebrate love and life, and inspire hope. It's an easy-to-enjoy treatment that's deliciously smooth, yet uncompromisingly jazz.
The set updates such old standards as "My Favorite Things," "Love Walked In," "More" and "For All We Know," as well as more contemporary selections such as "Everything Must Change." A highlight is a beautiful bossa nova version of "Dance With Me," a tune that was a hit for the rock group Orleans in the '70s.
The CD also introduces some equally strong new tunes. Most notable among these is the title track - the lovely, Latin-flavored result of a collaboration between Florance and producer/pianist Kevin Madill, who gives it a beautiful bowed-bass intro and crowns it with his own movingly expressive piano solo. Another standout song is "The Awakened Heart," by Susan Fiering.
As a singer, Florance is masterful and creative, and her jazz artistry is matched by that of Madill and the rest of her group: Bob Mater on drums, Charlie Chadwick on bass and Tom Roady on percussion. Trombonist Barry Green, trumpeter Rod McGaha, and saxophonists Roger "Rock" Williams and Doug Moffet also make valuable contributions to this excellent project.