Alexis Cole with One For All – You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To (2010) [Japan 2015]
SACD Rip | SACD ISO | DSD64 2.0 > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | 56:07 minutes | Front/Rear Covers | 2,28 GB
or DSD64 2.0 (from SACD-ISO to Tracks.dsf) > 1-bit/2.8224 MHz | Front/Rear Covers | 2,25 GB
or FLAC (carefully converted & encoded to tracks) 24bit/96 kHz | Front/Rear Covers | 1,34 GB
Vocalist Alexis Cole hasn’t found a setting or theme that doesn’t suit her. Since arriving on the scene near the turn of the century she’s covered a tremendous amount of ground and delivered a good number of well-conceived and beautifully executed albums. You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To finds Cole joining forces with hard bop-leaning sextet One For All. Together, they charm with a program of tried-and-true classics laced with individualistic sentiments. In “Golden Earrings” we’re given bright swing and real heat as Cole tells and sells the tale. Trumpeter Jim Rotondi circles around her with muted obbligato work, and a number of soloists—trombonist Steve Davis, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, and pianist David Hazeltine—take the baton and run with it. Then there’s an unusually sly “I Will Wait For You” that leaves just a hint of doubt in its tone, a “Moon River” stripped of cloying sentiments and recast as a 4/4 swinger, and a “Cry Me A River” elevated through Cole’s world-wise delivery. All of those numbers indicate that nobody involved with this album is content with delivering cookie-cutter performances. Every one of these songs is shaped in a way that makes them hard to let go of, but each is also followed by something taken happily as a replacement. For example, an “Alone Together” propelled by Joe Farnsworth’s drumming and enlivened by horn interjections behind and around the vocals leads to a take of “A Beautiful Friendship” with a million dollar rhythmic feel and an endearing atmosphere. Then that leads to an “All The Things You Are” with a few Latin mini-detours and notable contributions from bassist John Webber and that brings the listener to a “So In Love” toying with the oh-so-complicated nature surrounding the titular four-letter word. It’s only in the album’s conclusion that the ears are finally left without a suitable follow-up. Alexis Cole and One For All somehow manage to leave us completely satisfied while also wanting more. That’s the mark of a fine album, and that’s proof that this one is most certainly nice to come home to.
Alexis Cole is caught deep in the dreams of her childhood on this set of standards that recall a more innocent youth and simpler times. Yet the romantic spell of grown-up fantasies is also heard during this set of ballads derived from show tunes that have references to Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and similar playful, lighthearted figures of mythical proportions. As a vocalist, Cole has few peers in terms of her enunciation, coupled with a beautiful singing voice she draws on previous icons such as Chris Connor, Irene Kral, or Carol Sloane. Pianist Fred Hersch is a perfect choice for making these songs come to life in Cole’s vivid, lush, story telling imagination, with bassist Steve LaSpina and drummer Matt Wilson also along for this magic carpet ride. A song like the loping ramble “Let Me Be Good to You” is more seductive, while “Love” (from Robin Hood) adds Hersch’s stride piano and Don Braden’s soprano sax, adding whimsy to the forlorn refrain. For the most part, these are heartfelt songs of love on the way, anticipated by Cole’s supple voice during the soft swinger “If I Never Knew You” (from Pocahontas) and the waltzing title track, both featuring the haunting harmonica of Gregoire Maret. Braden’s flute on “La La Lu” (from Lady & the Tramp) accents Cole’s sweet charms, perfectly evocative of her cover photos, as she’s draped in pearls and a pristine white dress, holding a butterfly. If you’re in a similar mood, probably late at night, these songs are best when shared with a good friend, especially as time stands still but for a while.
01. Golden Earrings
02. I Will Wait For You
03. Moon River
05. Cry Me A River
06. Alone Together
07. A Beautiful Friendship
08. All The Things You Are
09. So In Love
10. You’ve Changed
11. You’d Be Nice To Come Home To
Alexis Cole – vocals
One For All:
Eric Alexander – tenor sax
Jim Rotondi – trumpet
Steve Davis – trombone
David Hazeltine – piano
John Webber – bass
Joe Farnsworth – drums
Produced, Mixed & Mastered by Tetsuo Hara. Engineered by Katherine Miller.
Recorded on April 28-29, 2010 at Avatar Studio in New York.
Venus Hyper Magnum Sound Direct Mix. VENUS Japan # VHGD-114.