Picks and Pans Review: For Sentimental Reasons
Maybe McCartney could find an inspiration or two in the career of his contemporary Linda Ronstadt. She has certainly freshened her own approach by breaking away from expected directions from time to time. This is the third of the standards albums she did with the late arranger-conductor Nelson Riddle. It includes lovely readings of such standbys as But Not for Me, My Funny Valentine and I Get Along Without You Very Well as well as the more obscure Little Girl Blue and 'Round Midnight, which Riddle turned almost into a dirge. There's also a tantalizing version of the old King Cole Trio hit, Straighten Up and Fly Right—tantalizing because it is the kind of swingy, sexy, up-tempo tune that Ronstadt and Riddle downplayed in these sessions, to the frustration of those who would have liked more variety. That disappointment, though, represents greed more than it does criticism. Like the other two Ronstadt-Riddle albums, What's New and Lush Life, this one profits greatly from the presence of some distinguished jazz musicians—including saxophonist Bud Shank, trumpet player Warren Luening and pianist Don Grolnick in this case—and is full of languorous, richly romantic music. The country-rock album Ronstadt worked on with Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton is due for release early next year, so she hasn't forsaken the kind of singing that made her famous. Even if she never sings another song written before 1980, she will have done very well by the past. (Elektra/Asylum)
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