For the last decade or more I’ve been aware of Shawn Montero as a very hip jazz singer. This CD as a matter of fact is the third of her discs in my own collection. There are a lot of things to like about her. First and very importantly, it’s apparent to me that Montero is an admirer of Carmen McRae. There’s a distinct Carmen-like quality to her voice and her phrasing. For what it’s worth I can also hear a hint of Chris Connor in her vocal timbre. Secondly, Montero chooses songs worthy of being “out there” and deserve to be heard a great deal more. Among these are Blossom Dearie’s wistful “Inside A Silent Tear”; and a gorgeous thing “You’ll See” by the English composer Carroll Coates. To these, add two gems by Portland’s own Dave Frishberg, “Let’s Eat Home” and the tender tear jerker “You Are There”. But there are evergreens here too. How about these: “Dearly Beloved”, “How Deep Is The Ocean”, “The Shadow Of Your Smile” and more. Accompanying Ms. Montero is a peerless group led by the gifted pianist Kenny Barron. I’ve known of her for quite a while, but now it’s your turn to discover Shawn Montero.
Whaling City Sound; 2021; 65:07.