Sara Caswell proves she is as versatile as she is gifted as a violinist and composer. She radiates elegance (as on the title track) waxes thoughtful ("Black Is the Color Of My True Love’s Hair" and "Shenandoah") and bounces enthusiastically ("Professor ABC"). From deeply poignant to gleefully lighthearted to explorationally gutsy, she expresses a great range of facets.
Lynne Arriale on piano is sparkling, especially on the opening track and on "Bye Bye Blackbird." The interplay on "The Way You Look Tonight" between her piano and Caswell’s violin is dynamic and zesty and Kohut’s bass on this track is billowy and bubbly. The whole ensemble here flows and swings with playful jubilance.
"Straight No Chaser" is as daring and decadent as Monk would have it, saturated with raucous defiance. Vocalist Rachel Caswell reveals the scope of her talents on this disc as well. She scats voraciously through "Receipt Please" while Jeremy Allen’s bass answers in big round belly tones. Steve Davis on drums is solid and tight throughout.
Listening to this CD is like indulging in a sampler box of fine chocolates. Rich, smooth, sweet and bursting with flavorful surprises, Caswell explores the breadth and depth of her artistry and creativity. Her instrument’s voice takes listeners on a thrilling musical journey that is more than a simple treat; it is a sheer delight to the senses.