Shirley Crabbe

Bridges
(MaiSong Music and Entertainment)

A record lined with jazz standards and sporting conventional instrumentation might lead to presumptions of familiarity when contemplating Bridges. But Shirley Crabbe reminds lovers of the Great American Songbook that performance and emotive projection can imbue the most ubiquitous of jazz tunes with fresh excitement.

Apart from being a strong vocalist, Crabbe takes the message of each work and retains the integral emotional direction, while dressing each in a mellifluous approach. Every cut’s bright, clean and expressive in style—qualities springing from Crabbe’s initial pursuit of opera. And though lyrical complexity comes second to traditional songcraft, listeners can revel in the artistic intricacy of the seasoned musicianship spotlighted during Bridges’ instrumental interludes.