Picks and Pans Review: Close Enough for Love
updated 02/25/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/25/1980 AT 01:00 AM EST
Her last hit came in 1969, and it's tempting to think that really was all there is. Lee, 59, in fact hasn't released an album in this country since the underachieving Mirrors in 1975. She proves in this, her 59th original LP, that she is still one of the most durable jazz-pop singers. If her voice is less sturdy than it once was, that's no real handicap; it was always her phrasing and self-mocking sexiness that provided her special, sometimes eccentric qualities. Equally important, she retains her adventuresome ability to choose material. Always alert to new composers—she was one of the first to record Randy Newman—Lee here includes songs by Michael Franks (A Robinsong), Melissa Manchester and Carole Bayer Sager (Come in from the Rain) and Paul Williams (the delightful title track, written with Johnny Mandel). Older generations are represented, too, and the pleasantly sweet love song Rain Sometimes was written by Arthur Hamilton, whose Sing a Rainbow was poignantly performed by Lee in the 1955 film Pete Kelly's Blues. This is vintage Lee, refreshing proof she hasn't run out of mañanas.