by Paul J. Youngman
I was fortunate to actually get in to see Arlene Smith during the release of her new CD — Two For The Road, Arlene Smith with Mark Eisenman, a standing room only crowd had gathered on Thursday evening at the Opal Lounge in support of Ms. Smith for this, her new release, a duet recording of jazz standards. The duo was joined for this performance by acoustic bassist Steve Wallace.
A singer who interprets jazz standards with a wonderfully warm and inviting voice; harmony and melody, phrasing and timing all performed with the skill of a master of vocal jazz, and it all seems to come so naturally. Ms. Smith has a voice somewhat reminiscent of Carmen McRae and even the wonderful Sheila Jordan at times, both singers who have perfect command of their instruments and can work a song to make it their own.
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