Primary Instrument: Vocalist
Robin McKelle comes out swinging on her second disc of big band jazz, Modern Antique. The bassist plucks some fat, rich chords, the pianist skitters over the keys, and McKelle herself confidently scats over the melody while the horn section eggs her on. The mood is playfully flirtatious, just this side of naughty. The entire combo is having so much fun and so are you that the tune is almost over before you realize it’s an ingenious re-arrangement of Steve Miller’s seventies classic, “Abracadabra.”
That opening gambit sets the tone for everything that follows: The singer has created a stylistically ambitious follow-up to her debut while still managing to evoke and honor the forties big-band sound she explored on the remarkable Introducing Robin McKelle. There are more rhythm and bluestouches, revealing McKelle’s torchy side, and she concludes...
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