SOLITAIRE MILES – SUSIE BLUE AND THE LONESOME FELLAS

This self-produced project is confounding, complex, joyful and ultimately brilliant. Miles, an accomplished and seasoned jazz vocalist, still is able to stretch herself with the Susie Blue persona. On the album, she cleverly leans on country, swing, pop and of course jazz. Instead of attempting to recreate the swing of the 1950s, Miles pays homage to it while challenging her band to create an authentic but new bedrock for her voice. Guitarist Neal Alger proves a formidable collaborator too, contributing arrangements that are another piece of the puzzle which makes Susie Blue and the Lonesome Fellas such a treasure – and my top Best of 2015 entry. “I’m a Fool to Care” and “I Gotta Have My Baby Back” are a sample on the classic interpretations on this stellar release.