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Kathleen Bertand: It's time to Love

Reviewed by Ismo Tenkanen

Rating: 7/ 10


Soul Express CD of the Season - Spring 2018

US Kathleen Bertrand CD, 2017
Buy this album from our CD Shop

1) It's Time to Love
2) Diamonds in the Sky
3) Come Rain or Come Shine
4) Baby, I'm Yours
5) Almost Like Being in Love
6) Walking Through the Door
7) Anyone Who Had a Heart
8) It's Me (Standing in the Need of Prayer) [Live]
9) Love from the Sun

Kathleen Bertrand's latest set reminds me of her 2006 album New Standards, which I described as an enjoyable collection of old and new songs delivered in Kathleen's typically mature, robust style. In a similar way, soul & jazz devotees will find several familiar tunes here, like the Dionne Warwick chestnut Anyone Who Had a Heart, the Johnny Mercer jazz standard Come Rain or Come Shine, or the modernised version of the song Love from the Sun, well known at least to long-time Norman Connors fans.

Still, my favourite track of the album is a new song written by Kathleen herself together with her producer Phil Davis, entitled Walking through the Door and drenched with soulful alto saxophone playing by Mike Burton. Perfect material for Kathleen's superb, Phyllis Hyman -influenced vocalising, although maybe this time more reminiscent of Phyllis' most jazz-inclined repertoire and not her soul hits.

Of the more obvious jazz-oriented performances, my number one pick would be breezy and elegant Diamonds in the Sky, which is the only track on display with real drums, whereas the other cuts have programmed beats, but otherwise real instrumentation including saxophone, trumpet and trombone. The gospel tune It's Me (Standing in the Need of Prayer) and the ultra-modern reading of Love from the Sun (produced and arranged by The Dangerfeel Newbies) differ from the overall traditional jazz atmosphere of the set.

Highly recommendable for Kathleen's jazz-inclined fans.



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