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Music Review: Madeleine Peyroux tackles Ray Charles

Music Review: Madeleine Peyroux tackles Ray Charles

Madeleine Peyroux, "The Blue Room" (Decca/Universal)

March 6th, 2013 by CHARLES J. GANS, Associated Press in News

After performing mostly original songs on her last two albums, Madeleine Peyroux returns as a masterful interpreter of classic songs. Her long-time producer Larry Klein felt Peyroux, whose music blends jazz, blues, country and pop, would be well suited to reimagine Ray Charles' landmark "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music" that broke down musical and racial barriers.

Half the 10 tunes - including "Born To Lose," "You Don't Know Me" and "I Can't Stop Loving You" - are from Charles' two 1962 albums. But Peyroux's rich tone, emotional depth and expressive story-telling - enhanced by Vince Mendoza's refined string arrangements and the sensitive accompaniment of keyboardist Larry Goldings and guitarist Dean Parks - seem more evocative of Patsy Cline's crossover country pop recordings from the same era.

Other songs fit the relaxed, introspective mood - particularly her poignant version of Leonard Cohen's "Bird On the Wire" and her fresh take on "Changing All Those Changes" with its shuffling jazzy beat that reinvents the obscure Buddy Holly tune.

Online:

madeleinepeyroux.com