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Live in the Park Live
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British vocalist Liz Fletcher lays bare a chief influence when she opens Live in the Park with a slackly bouncing version of Mose Allison's "Your Mind Is on Vacation." Fletcher's band aids and abets her blues-inflected swing, with guitarist Mark Johns comping with a swagger and then launching biting solos full of flare. Saxophonist Matt Wates, bassist Roy Babbington, and pianist Robin Aspland keep the music footed solidly in the post-bop vein, while Fletcher tackles lyrics with a mid-to-lower range that picks up a phrase, toys with it, and then takes it in whole with a clarity of tone like Peggy Lee's. For all that, Fletcher's no coy girl singer. Her band belts it out, and she's there with them at all points, scatting a bit here, warbling sensuously there. Of course, Bobby Timmons's "Moanin'" and Stanley Turrentine's "Sugar" are splendid vehicles for a vocal playfulness that intermingles the sultry and the soulful. With Stacey Kent, Diana Krall, and Jane Monheit, Fletcher is in good company sporting new takes on the jazz singer's traditions. --Andrew Bartlett
1. Your Mind is on Vacation
4. Do You?
6. The Meaning of the Blues
7. Day by Day/500 Miles High
8. What Good is Spring
9. (Life's a Breeze) Pigs Can Fly
10. You Don't Need Nobody
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