The beautifully subtle pop/jazz vocalist has been one of the great old souls of music since launching her recording career after winning the first runner up prize at the 1998 Thelonious Monk Institute Vocal Competition. But she celebrated the significant chronological milestone of passing 30 while making this graceful and exquisite album. Beyond that, Monheit also celebrates her new motherhood to son Jack, and that's what inspired the inclusion of the always welcome "Rainbow Connection"; she sings the charming song – and its lyrics that inspired the name of the recording – to Jack all the time. At home, however, it doesn't have the exquisite Gil Goldstein accordion touch that makes this one of the best renditions ever. Goldstein arranged many of the tracks, but one of the most exciting jazzy turns, Monheit's swinging, swaggering "Get Out of Town," was done by pianist Michael Kanan, who was part of the ensemble that recorded half of these tracks while the singer was still pregnant. In many ways, then, this 13-track collection is a chronicle of the singer pre- and post-motherhood – and all something that Jack will be proud of as he grows older. As always, the key to a great interpreter's project is the choice of material, and Monheit makes interesting picks, ranging from a wistful take on Paul Simon's "I Do It for Your Love" to Fiona Apple's dark and haunting "Slow Like Honey" and Corinne Bailey Rae's "Like a Star".
Electric Frankenstein was guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Paolo Tofani, who played in progressive rock band Area. This album, a guitar extravaganza with long spacey guitar solos by Tofani and all the instruments played by himself, the album will appeal to acid-psych lovers rather than prog fans. Mostly instrumental with vocal parts in English, the album contained some reworkings of his previous works with I Califfi and also had two tracks released as a single.
Still one of the leading lights of the Australian strand of guitar-strummed, literate indie pop-rock, Underground Lovers have influenced the sound of many local bands over the years, from The Sleepy Jackson to Blank Realm and on to Shining Bird. They'll no doubt continue to hold that sphere of influence with their latest and one of their best albums.
The Honeysuckle Breeze was the debut album by saxophonist Tom Scott. The California Dreams were a vocal group who contributed their singing and harmonies. Scott brought in musicians like Mike Melvoin, Carol Kaye, Max Bennett, Lincoln Mayorga, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Gordon and others to this session. Some of the same set of musicians, including Scott, would also play on Gabor Szabo's album Wind, Sky And Diamonds, also featuring The California Dreamers and also released on Impulse, also in 1967. The Honeysuckle Breeze is celebrated in hip-hop circles for Scott's cover of Jefferson Airplane's "Today", which was sampled in the celebrated song by Pete Rock & CL Smooth, "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)", but the album shows a side of Scott that he would abandon eight years later as his music retained funkiness but started to become lightweight. The Honeysuckle Breeze also features covers of The Beatles' "She's Leaving Home", Donovan's "Mellow Yellow", and The Association's "Never My Love". Scott contributes one original song to the album, "Blues For Hari".