Alison Ruble

Ashland

origin 82573



MUSIC REVIEW BY Ken Dryden, All Music Guide

VIEW THE CD DETAIL PAGE

Vocalist Alison Ruble's second CD for Origin is much like her first effort, a mix of standards and pop with embellishments of folk and rock, with arrangements again by guitarist John McLean. Gifted with a warm alto voice, Ruble starts off with an intriguing take of "The Summer Knows" (remembered by many as Michel Legrand's haunting theme written for the early 1970s film "Summer of '42") that has a rich backdrop of acoustic guitar, alto flute, plus arco cello and bass caressing her warm vocals. Most arrangers don't put a lot of thought into the scoring of the standard "Let's Fall in Love," yet McLean's brilliant chart incorporates an infectious vamp and subtle use of the strings and Jim Gailloreto's soprano sax to back Ruble's playful vocal. Though written by Bobby Troup, "Route 66" is readily identified with the late jazz pianist/vocalist Nat King Cole. Ruble's contemporary version is well out of jazz territory into soft rock, though it retains a high energy level. The newer songs from country, pop, rock and blues are a bit uneven. Emmylou Harris is a country/rock artist who has tested her musical boundaries, so it seems logical that Ruble's similar mindset would provoke her to explore her songs. Organ and acoustic guitar are prominent in Ruble's contemporary interpretation of Harris' "Here I Am." Less interesting are the country-flavored setting of King Crimson's "Matte Kudasai" (hampered by both its weak melody and forgettable lyrics) and the funky yet bland take of Bonnie Raitt's "Tangled and Dark." While this is a generally enjoyable CD by Alison Ruble, it isn't quite as strong as her debut release This is a Bird.






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