Nnenna Freelon's Homefree adds a contemporary twist to standards (3 stars)

Nnenna Freelon's Homefree is a contemporary twist to standards

A smoothly accomplished, comfortable sounding outing

Classy jazz singing from the American vocalist that manages to give a contemporary twist to standards without getting too mannered or precious in the process. Freelon puts her stamp on such well established songs as ‘The Lamp Is Low’, ‘The Very Thought of You’, Chaplin’s ‘Smile’, a slightly over-wrought ‘Skylark’ and a faintly Caribbean-inflected take on Cole Porter’s ‘Get Out of Town’ – and tackles less obvious jazz fare in ‘I Feel Pretty’ and her version of ‘America the Beautiful’.

Keeping it in the family, her son, Pierce Freelon, makes his recording debut alongside mum, rapping on the anthemic ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’. She throws in one of her own songs, the witty ‘Cell Phone Blues’, and is accompanied by her regular band, augmented by a handful of guest instrumentalists. Everyone sounds very comfortable in the situation on a smoothly accomplished outing.

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