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Old 01-15-2019, 07:34 PM
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Default Sophie Milman - Take Love Easy (2009)

Sophie Milman - Take Love Easy (2009)
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 368 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 155 Mb | Scans included
Vocal Jazz, Standarts, Vocal Pop | Label: Linus/Victor | # VICJ-61606 | Time: 00:58:17

Some critics might dismiss Sophie Milman as simply another pretty female singer, yet with her third CD, she continues to show an adventurous spirit, tackling standards and obscurities while also forging ahead into pop. Retaining many of the musicians from her previous release, Make Someone Happy, the upbeat alto offers a hip take of Duke Ellington's long overlooked "Take Love Easy," exuding sex appeal and backed by guitarist Rob Piltch, bassist Kieran Overs, and percussionist Mark McLean (who also arranged it), with a brief solo added on soprano sax by PJ Perry. Pianist Paul Shrofel contributed the breezy bop vehicle "That Is Love," which showcases Milman in her best light. She soars in the brisk treatment of the old chestnut "Day In, Day Out," starting in a samba setting and switching to bop, featuring alto saxophonist Wessel Warmdaddy Anderson. Her ventures into pop remain a mixed bag. "I Can't Make You Love Me" has been recorded often, just not in a jazz setting. Milman is boosted by Steven MacKinnon's chart, which adds several horns in the background, so it ends up deeper, even if there is little risk-taking by the singer. Milman can't help but be influenced a bit by Joni Mitchell as she interprets the folksinger's "Be Cool," though she remains remarkably subtle in her approach. Less successful are her renditions of Bruce Springsteen's "I'm on Fire" and Paul Simon's "Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover," both of which are hampered by their bland melodies and forgettable lyrics. But with this generally strong release, Sophie Milman remains one of the most promising jazz singers of her generation.

It's just a darn shame so many budget-conscious Hollywood movies save a few bucks by using snippets of a classic rock oldie instead of actually using vocalists to sing theme songs. If they did, the cool groove of Sophie Milman's vocals would be the perfect accompaniment for a montage of lovers walking in the rain, looking soulfully in each other's eyes over a table in a restaurant and "long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days."

A vocalist in the tradition of Ella Fitzgerald and Nat "King" Cole, Milman has one of those voices that has both range and power, but she knows how to caress a lyric and tap into the emotional depths of the song. Like many artists who can make singing the telephone book sound good, Milman is dependent upon both good material and complimentary production to get the most bang for the buck. She's blessed with both on Take Love Easy.

An example can be found in "Be Cool" as Milman creamy voice purrs and gently strokes fellow Canadian import Joni Mitchell's lyrics. Songs written and/or performed by Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, and Bruce Springsteen all come in for the Sophie Milman Treatment which means she croons, the band cooks, and the listener reaps the benefits.

Simon's light-hearted, but sardonic "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" was practically made for a jazzy interpretation that doesn't take itself too seriously, but it's Springsteen's "I'm On Fire" and Bonnie Raitt's hit, "I Can't Make You Love Me," that benefit most from Milman's take. They become soulful serenades as Steven MacKinnon's impeccable production exacts the best out of Milman's capabilities.

Milman also knows her way around expected songwriters such as Duke Ellington ("Take Love Easy"), Cole Porter ("Love For Sale" and "I Concentrate On You"), and Antonio Carlos Jobim ("Triste") are among the old standards that are lovingly rendered on Take Love Easy.

If Milman strutted around in her underwear and sang sugary pop music she'd be a superstar (though she'd probably have to change her name for being too ethnic). She won't have to do any of those things to get recognition if her designated audience supports Take Love Easy as enthusiastically as the fans of Britney, Fergie, or other one-name pop tarts.


01. Beautiful Love (3:00)
02. Take Love Easy (3:16)
03. I Concentrate on You (4:17)
04. Day In, Day Out (3:25)
05. Be Cool (4:12)
06. My One and Only Love (4:36)
07. I Can't Make You Love Me (4:30)
08. That Is Love (2:48)
09. Love for Sale (4:31)
10. I'm on Fire (4:03)
11. Triste (3:25)
12. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (4:37)
13. Where Do You Start? (4:16)
14. Down with Love (2:35)
15. The Best Is Yet to Come (duet with Michael Kaeshammer) (4:45)

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