Young Canadian’s sophomore album as a way of creating a quiet sensation that’s bound to become a jazz thunder further down the line.
Still a teenager, this chanteuse is short of stunning – not in terms of Avery Raquel’s grace, but with regards to her command of improvisational idiom. With a light nod towards jazz greats yet far from copying them, the Brantford songstress weaves her own, absolutely riveting yarn, and Avery’s second longplay is a testament to the artist’s progress.
“Won’t Say Goodbye” may unfold into an inspired demonstration of the young lady’s abilities as a performer who’s able to break free and bask in the electric charge of “Oh! Darling” that’s possessed of irresistible charm but, left alone with a cello for Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” – Avery’s choice of covers reflect her personality – she’s just as impressive. There are some surprises, too, Raquel adding relaxed, R&B-tinctured vocals to the sultry title track’s instrumental layer which has a a slight retro – or, rather, timeless – feel to it, to take flight towards the piece’s end. Such a honeyed contrast makes the result special, while another contrast, between her fresh-scented tone and David Clayton-Thomas’ seasoned pipes, has given Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” an unexpected edge.
Sensual on the appropriately slow, yet scintillating, “Take Your Time” and perky on the playful “Your Mouth Is The Door” where her voice splinters into infectious harmonies, Avery’s approach to a song is always dictated by its mood rather than constraints coming from a tune or lyric. Dancing around the rhythm in “Dreaming” where the woodwind licks caress the singer’s delivery, and rendering “Things You Do” extremely elegant for producer Greg Kavanagh’s guitar to twang over, Raquel radiates happiness throughout. There should always be a little rain, but this album’s emotional weather is as good as it gets.