Every once in a while a vocal jazz offering comes along that makes the standard repertoire make more sense. Most recently, Love is Never Out of Season presents itself as one of these revelatory recordings. The multi-talented Laura Welland takes Thomas Waller's time-worn standard "Honeysuckle Rose," seasons it to the taste of swinging mainstream, and updates the classic perfectly into the 21st Century. Her performance makes Waller's gleeful lyrics a sensual muse for love. Speaking of loveÖ
That would be the central theme for this OA2 collection. All of the pieces are positive love songs, either as ballads and up-tempo romps. Ms. Welland shows a facile ability to transform these standards effortlessly. The introduction to "Honeysuckle Rose" and the whole of "Dream a Little Dream of Me" sound as if they have become untethered from the rhythm section, floating like a perfect mist. The effect is astonishing and enjoyable. "You'd be So Nice to Come Home To" has most recently been introduced on vocal collections with an introductory bass-voice duet for the first chorus. Here, Ms. Welland elects to duet with superb ballad pianist Bill Mays. The results are effective and striking.
Laura Welland uses a piano trio as accompaniment for her recital. It is appropriately spare, taking nothing away from the vocalist's straightahead, wholesome and full-toned vocal style. In a field already overpopulated by myriad of fine vocalists, disc like Love is Never Out of Season proves that there is always room for one more.