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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby

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Candid CCD 79996



1. Something’s Gotta Give
2. Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
3. Night and Day
4. For All We Know
5. You Brought a New Kind of Love
6. Dream
7. Yes, My Darling Daughter
8. Deep in a Dream
9. I’ve Got the World on a String
10. Come Rain or Come Shine
11. The Lamp is Low
12. On the Sunny Side of the Street
Robin McKelle – Vocals 
Bernie Dresel– Drums, percussion
Reggie McBride - Bass
Quinn Johnson - Piano
Larry Koonse - Guitar 
Wayne Bergeron, Gary Grant, Don Clark, Willie Murillo – Trumpets
Andy Martin – Bass bone
Charlie Morillis, David Stout – Trombones
Paul Klintworth – French horn 
Bob Shepard, Brian Scanlon, Ray Herrmann – Tenor saxes, clarinets
Mark Visher – Tenor sax
Glen Berger – Baritone sax, clarinet
Pete Christlieb – Tenor sax
Gary Foster – Clarinet 
Kathleen Robertson – Concert master
Peggy Baldwin – String contractor 
Robbie Wycoff – Vocal on track 5 

Only a few weeks ago I was saying to my wife and jazz soulmate, that it was such a shame that nearly all of the great female singers had either retired or passed on. There are still great singers around, but they don’t seem to get the opportunity to make records like Ella and Sarah made in the company of great swinging bands and they often feel obliged to sing second-rate songs in the ‘need for something new’. Now all of a sudden there is Robin McKelle, who has a great voice and can really make the most of a song. She is an extremely polished performer, who surely deserves to succeed. This is a most attractive CD which actively shows off her ability to perform as a jazz singer. Her work here is right up with the best and now there is a genuine contender to the greats of the past. I hope we shall hear many releases of this type as soon as possible. 

Right from the first track everything is swinging and it continues right through the album. Robin has the ability to work with her superb backing orchestra to create something really exciting. Do I have a favourite track? That is a difficult one. I like them all, but Night and Day shades it for me: the tempo is similar to the one Ella used, but the arrangement is different and Robin has a style that has hints of all the great singers, whilst remaining her own person. On For All We Know there is some fine tenor playing (Pete Christlieb?) and on The Lamp is Low there is some excellent clarinet playing (Gary Foster?).

Robin McKelle's musical pedigree is perfect: the University of Miami followed by Berklee College, where she is now a member of the faculty! Let’s hope that she always stays a jazz singer and is not side-tracked by some ‘clever’ agent or manager away from being a jazz artist. Diana Krall has made it into the big league without sacrificing her jazz genre and Robin McKelle can for sure do the same. 

The backing band is terrific, every section is excellent, but the trumpets are outstanding and the rhythm section is great. 

If you like great standards, sung by a singer with a big voice, a real jazz feel, excellent diction and intonation and with top class arrangements, played by a swinging Big Band, don’t miss this one! You are going to hear a lot more of Robin McKelle! 

As a footnote to Candid Records, your sleeve notes tell nothing about the artist and, for someone who will be new to a lot of people, that seems a shame. 

Don Mather

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