Apr. 7, 2017
While we are not in the habit of focusing on traditional or straight-ahead jazz, and certainly not projects chock full of covers, some projects simply command attention with their novel approach. In this case, vocalist Julia Fordham lends her silky, charming pipes to an album that merges the class and sophistication of straight-ahead with the magical and popular appeal of soft rock/pop, easy listening, and R&B classics, as well as some melodically sweet originals, with her latest release, The Language of Love. The result is a very pleasant and innovative perspective on tunes we have known and embraced all the way back to the ‘60s combined with the lovely original compositions heard here.
Strong in nostalgia, solid in song selection, soothing in quality, The Language of Love should certainly seduce, caress, relax, and bring a satisfied smile to jazzers everywhere.
Listeners will marvel at the delicate, creative, and meticulous handling of tunes like Blondie’s “Call Me,” 10cc’s “I’m Not in Love,” Sting’s “Fragile,” The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” Stevie Wonder’s “Sir Duke,” Janis Ian’s “At Seventeen,” The Eurythmics’ “Who’s That Girl,” the Mancini/Mercer classic “Moon River,” and Fordham’s own “Like You Used to Do” and “Happy Ever After,” among others on this 12-track goodie. A real treasure of feelings and moods on this one.
It doesn’t hurt that Fordham’s rich and velvety vocals simply carry this album away on a dove’s wings, far into the heavens and deep into your senses. She is the perfect voice as that integral component of such a competent production. Two thumbs up. – Ronald Jackson