Carol Sloane

Jazz Singer


Carol Sloane

I Never Went Away

by Geoff Chapman
Toronto Star, January 5, 2002

Eleven tunes featuring singer Carol Sloane's whispering intimacy instantly create a cozy mood, for the Sloane sound is all measured steadiness, with perfect pitch and just enough edge to pique interest.

The opening ballad, "I See A Million People", is so warm it should never be played before midnight. (It wasn't in her repertoire when she emerged as a big band songbird in the 1950's). She gets sensitive support from a top-drawer group with pianist Norman Simmons, tenor sax man Bill Easley, guitarist Paul Bollenback, bassist Steve LaSpina and drummer Kenny Washington. Even at mid-tempo, this consummate professional seems to create her own time and space, treating ballads with affection. Her melodious tones deliver every word and sentiment with effortless grace.

Sloane relaxes her major emotional grip on occasion, notably when she tackles the Jon Hendricks lyrics to "Cotton Tail" and "To You" with pleasing ease. Her take on "Deep Purple" is merely terrific.