Old Fashioned Love
This is a CD that is impossible not to love. Melissa Collard,
who is based in the San Francisco Bay area and has sung
regularly with Dick Oxtot's Golden Age Jazz Band and a Western
Swing big band (Lost Weekend), has a very inviting and cheerful
voice. She clearly loves interpreting swing standards. Her
choice of notes is flawless, as is her enunciation and her sense
of swing. Add to that an impeccable repertoire for this CD and
one has the potential for a memorable set.
Putting this release over the top is the backup band which is
arranged inventively by trombonist Dan Barrett, who doubles on
cornet. With guitarist Eddie Erickson (who, like Barrett, is
with the Rebecca Kilgore group B.E.D.), pianist Ray Skjelbred
(who recalls Jess Stacy), bassist Steven Strauss and the
occasional reeds of Richard Hadlock (who is strongest on alto)
as the core group, Ms. Collard is joined by very sympathetic
musicians. Three songs have a trombone trio consisting of
Barrett, Bill Bardin and Bob Mielke, and a couple guests give a
Hawaiian flavor to "On A Coconut Island" and a Django
Reinhardt-Stephane Grappelly interpretation to "I'll See
You In My Dreams."
Melissa Collard sounds quite wonderful on such numbers as
"I've Had My Moments," "Old Fashioned Love,"
"Nevertheless I'm In Love With You," "Warm
Valley" (which she takes wordlessly, harmonizing with
Barrett), "Street Of Dreams," "Stardust,"
and virtually all 14 selections. Suffice it to say that this
disc (available from www.melissacollard.com) is a must for swing
fans, and that lovers of superior jazz vocalists should make
themselves aware of Melissa Collard.