Jazz vocalist Carla Cook steps into the spotlight on several works, including Ray Noble’s classic torch ballad, "The Very Thought Of You." With the opener "Out of Nowhere," Jon Cowherd sets the pace with a Basie style, trickling piano into, followed by the band’s exuberant swing vibe. Moreover, Gee enlists veteran jazz warriors, trombonist Eddie Bert, tuba maestro, Howard Johnson and other notables.
Among many of the album’s highlights, is Gee’s joyous interpretation of Mario Bauza’s "Mambo Inn." On this piece, you’ll hear layered textures and punchy horn charts riding atop Latin-jazz percussion grooves and a lyrically rich theme. Overall, Gee shrewdly modernizes the Basie slant during the preponderance of this fabulous outing. (Recommended.... )