Picks and Pans Review: Susannah Mccorkle

updated 07/13/1992 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/13/1992 01:00AM

I'll Take Romance

One of the most striking things about Susannah McCorkle is her intelligence. It's clear in her phrasing, in her choice of material, in the care that she gives the lyrics. After a somewhat disappointing mostly samba album, McCorkle is solidly back to her jazz roots with "That Old Feeling," "Lover Man," "I Thought About You" and such Rodgers and Hart classics as "Spring Is Here," from which McCorkle, an occasional throb in her voice, mines every bit of heartbreak. She also coaxes every last bit of aching bewilderment from "It Never Entered My Mind," which begins a capella and carries through with a very simple, effective accompaniment by Allen Farnham, pianist of McCorkle's backing quintet (which features Frank Wess on saxophone and flute).

McCorkle never seems to be singing by rote. Each song appears to be a catalog of her own experience. Things must have taken a bad turn for her romantically, you would think when listening to "Where Do You Start," Alan and Marilyn Bergman's chronicle of an estranged couple's attempt to divvy up their accumulated goods and emotional pain. You hear an account of newly discovered love in "A Beautiful Friendship" and the bouyantly delivered title song, and you smile. Things sounds as if they're going well for McCorkle. Certainly, they're going well for her fans. (Concord)

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