Last year, jazz singer Stella Bass released her debut album “Too Darn Hot” amidst tons of live performances. Does the album accurately capture the same level of musicianship that is evident at Stella’s live performances? The answer is yes. From the very beginning of this album, the music accompanied by Stella’s soothing voice is like a hug for your ears and instantly puts you at ease. The relaxing nature of jazz music is present throughout the album and its clear to see why Stella has played in Cafe En Seine every Sunday for the last five years.
“Too Darn Hot” features an array of tracks from classic musicians such as Cole Porter, Sonny Burke, Paul Webster and Oscar Hammerstein. It also features tracks from more contemporary artists such as Robert Palmer and Amy Winehouse.
The album opens with “All The Things You Are” which perfectly sets up the entire album which tells the listener that they are in for smashing vocals, superb piano playing and a scintillating double bass. “Too Darn Hot” is a swinging tune which surely captivates audiences when played live. Its impossible not to bop along to this song.
The album takes a slightly mellower, darker turn with “A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square” and the Amy Winehouse classic, “Back To Black”. The latter is a surprise addition as it’s so common for people to cover Amy’s songs and do no justice to them but in this case it’s different. Stella’s version is a much slower and enchanting affair.
We are brought back up to a happier place with “The Frim Fram Sauce”. In case you’re wondering what frim fram sauce is, don’t ask us as we’re none the wiser. The next impressive track is “Estate” which sounds incredibly beautiful as it’s sung in the Italian language. If you don’t speak Italian then you won’t know what the song is about but that won’t stop your enjoyment of the track.
The only thing missing from this album is a couple of original songs mixed in as they would more than hold their own judging by the obvious talent of Stella and the band of musicians.
Standout Tracks: “All The Things You Are”, “Back To Black” & “Estate"