NEW RELEASES : Give a Listen to Nnenna Freelon’s Lyrics

Nnenna Freelon, a singer who keeps getting better, employs not only words but a variety of sounds on her recent album, which leads off this group of new releases.





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Everything comes together here. Though singer Freelon’s sound and style are the dominant forces, she contributes lyrics and/or music to several of the songs, most of which are unfamiliar.

Basically, this is a small-group session; however, here and there, invaluably supportive arrangements were contributed by Bill Fischer. It is a pleasure to hear lyrics added to Bobby Hutcherson’s “Lil B’s Poem” and McCoy Tyner’s “Ballad for Aisha.” Freelon also wrote lyrics for Wayne Shorter’s “Song of Silent Footprints.”

There are several wordless passages, mostly of the non-scat variety. Jon Lucien makes a couple of guest appearances. A lesser-known Ellington tune, “A Hundred Dreams From Now,” is yet another delight. Finally, who can resist another version of Kurt Weill’s “Lost in the Stars”?


Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor), two stars (fair), three stars (good, recommended), four stars (excellent).