Digital’s

Love Sloane Madly

09 JUL 10 ANNE FARNSWORTH

Carol Sloane, who has been singing professionally since the early-'50s, has enjoyed an interesting and varied career. When famed jazz producer Helen Keane rediscovered her in the late-'80s, Sloane experienced a creative upswing. Love You Madly (Contemporary), one of the fruits of their partnership, is now available only in MP3 format and it's an understated jewel.

Keane is best known for shepherding Bill Evans through several decades of astonishing recordings. For Love You Madly, she assembled an all-star band for Sloane -- Art Farmer, Clifford Jordan, Kenny Barron, Kenny Burrell, Akira Tana and Rufus Reid.

In the opening of the title song, a Duke Ellington classic, Sloane takes the playful lyrics at a brisk pace with only Tana's brushes for accompaniment. "For All We Know" and "I Wish I'd Met You," duets featuring Burrell's smooth guitar, are enriched with a bittersweet reflection that only a mature singer can express. The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood" is also a duet with Barron playing soft arpeggios. Sloane's pensive approach matches the dreamy quality of the lyrics. For balance, Farmer and Jordan's horns pump up the energy and the uptempo tunes swing with restrained intensity.

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