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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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SUE HALLORAN &
KEN HITCHCOCK

I Can Cook Too!

(Self-produced)

 

 

1. Somewhere In The Hills
2. A Quiet Thing
3. I Can Cook Too
4. Hey Daddy
5. I Got It Bad/Autumn Nocturne
6. Let's Fall In Love
7. I'll Take Romance
8. Look At That Face
9. My Funny Valentine

Collective personnel
Sue Halloran - Vocals
Ken Hitchcock - Soprano sax, alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, flute, alto flute, clarinet, bass clarinet
Carlos Franzetti, Mark Soskin - Piano
Gary Versace - B3 organ
Mike Holober - Fender Rhodes
David Finck, Chip Jackson - Bass
Romero Lubambo - Guitar
Ray Marchica, Clint DeGanon - Drums, percussion
Nick Marchione, Jim Hynes - Trumpet
Keith O'Quinn - Trombone
Mike Davis - Trombone, bass trombone
City of Prague Philharmonic (conductor: Richard Hein)

 

Sue Halloran has appeared as a singer on several albums, including recordings by vocal trio String of Pearls, but this is her first featured recording. Ken Hitchcock, her husband of 25 years, leads the supporting band. I hadn't heard of either of them before but I shall certainly look out for their names in future, because they are both superb musicians.
 
Sue Halloran has a pure, clear voice, sometimes tinged with an innocence that reminds me of Julie Andrews. But she knows how to put across a jazz performance, particularly in the way she can scat along with an instrumental backing, matching the notes perfectly. And Ken Hitchcock's versatility is impressive - just look at the list above of the instruments he plays! His inventively muscular solos add bite to several tracks.
 
The accompaniments are varied: from the strings of the City of Prague Philharmonic backing A Quiet Thing and Let's Fall In Love to Ken's multi-tracked clarinets as the only escort for Sue's ditto vocals on My Funny Valentine (two tracks as a soprano, three as an alto). Although Halloran's diction is impeccable, some of the backings tend to swamp the vocals, making the lyrics difficult to hear (for instance, on the title-track - from the film On the Town).

However, the medley of I've Got It Bad and Autumn Nocturne is very attractive, with a whole woodwind choir (courtesy of Ken) supporting the delicate vocals. Let's Fall In Love is another highlight, with help from strings and multiple woodwind.
 
As a reviewer, I have been subjected to so many mediocre singers on disc that I am understandably sceptical about vocalists. But Sue Halloran really can sing, and Ken Hitchcock helps to provide multi-faceted accompaniments. They both deserve to be much better known.
 
Tony Augarde
www.augardebooks.co.uk



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