THE SUNDAY TIMES
Sunday April 13, 2008
Catherine Russell: Sentimental Streak: The Sunday Times Review
Four Stars ****
With the stylish Madeleine Peyroux channelling Billie Holiday for the benefit of 21st-century audiences, it would be cheering to see Catherine Russell make the same journey into the mainstream. The daughter of Louis Armstrong's collaborator Luis Russell, she is an all-rounder who clearly possesses an affinity for prewar styles. There is as strong a hint of Bessie Smith in her voice, and her revivalist band lays down economical jazz-blues riffs on such classics as Kitchen Man and New Orleans. On Luci, she edges closer to vintage R&B without missing a beat, while Broken Nose brims over with vaudeville wit. It is such a relief to be reminded that, yes, a jazz artist is sometimes allowed to have fun.
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