Audrey Bernstein, Audrey Bernstein Loves Blue | Album Review | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Audrey Bernstein, Audrey Bernstein Loves Blue 

Movie Review

Published June 5, 2013 at 11:57 a.m.


(L.B. Records, CD, digital download)

On her debut album, Audrey Bernstein Loves Blue, local jazz singer Audrey Bernstein delves into the songbook of popular American jazz and regales us with a few of her favorite things. Though she doesn’t break new ground, Bernstein’s treatment of tunes by great composers such as George and Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Cy Coleman is an amiable listen and adds a welcome new voice in Vermont jazz.

Bernstein doesn’t so much reinterpret this collection of semi-standards as much as she uses guile and sly charm to personalize them. Her take on beloved classics such as “Fever,” “Blue Skies” and “The Best Is Yet to Come” don’t typically stray too far from versions popularized by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald or Sarah Vaughan. But her soft, breathy tone and clean, playful phrasing lend the material a seductive intimacy.

Adding to that smoky, late-night lounge appeal is Bernstein’s backing band. The singer tapped some of Vermont’s best jazz talent to surround herself with a gently billowing tapestry of smooth sounds. Pianist Dan Skea complements Bernstein’s delicate delivery with subtle accents. Ditto guitarist Joe Capps. The rhythm combo of bassist John Rivers and Caleb Bronz is predictably excellent. And trumpeter Ray Vega proves a worthy melodic foil for Bernstein, matching her teasing croon with quiet, tastefully stylish sound.

As impressive as the band’s collective performance is, Bernstein rightly remains the focal point. She is solid throughout the record. And in certain moments, her performance borders on sublime. For example, her cooing interpretation of the Gershwins’ “A Foggy Day” is a standout in which she displays impressive control and emotive nuance. The same is true of Matt Dennis and Earl Brent’s “Angel Eyes.” Here, Bernstein’s playfulness is in full, flirtatious form as she winkingly invites us “happy people” to drink up.

If there is a criticism to be made of the record, it’s that Bernstein doesn’t seem particularly concerned with injecting any new ideas into these decades-old classics. She plays it all fairly straight. However, that criticism is offset by the fact that she is so comfortable within those preordained parameters. Because of Bernstein’s considerable talent and allure, it’s enough for her to simply give these old chestnuts voice anew.

Audrey Bernstein plays the Salaam clothing boutique on Church Street in Burlington this Friday, June 7. Audrey Bernstein Loves Blue is available at iTunes.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

More By This Author

About The Author

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles

Dan Bolles is Seven Days' assistant arts editor and also edits What's Good, the annual city guide to Burlington. He has received numerous state, regional and national awards for his coverage of the arts, music, sports and culture. He loves dogs, dark beer and the Boston Red Sox.


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in Album Review

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation