CATHERINE RUSSELL – BRING IT BACK (POP/JAZZ)
Wait, before you yell, “Shenanigans! This is a jazz album,” I’ll admit you are right. Bring It Back is one of the best jazz albums of 2014, though it does incorporate elements of pop music. It easily would have made my Best of 2014 jazz list — had I realized early enough that it came out in 2014, not 2013. Nevertheless, it is a brilliant album. Sure, Russell is a world-class jazz and pop singer. Would she have worked for Steely Dan as long as she has if she wasn’t? What is not as well known is that she is expert at arranging, coproducing and leading a band. Bring It Back shines from end to end. The title track hits a high mark, and the album never lets up. Check out “Aged and Mellow.” Her backing combo is superb, and Catherine Russell arranges light horn textures which gently compliment a few tracks. Bring It Back is not one to be missed or forgotten.