Under The Bones Of The Great Blue Whale


aec.whac41.2 3/11/08 New

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    Under The Bones Of The Great Blue Whale Whaling City Sound

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Review Text The independent, Massachusetts-based label Whaling City Sound is best known for jazz, but R&B is the main ingredient on this live album by New England singer Sarah Brooks. Documenting a concert at the New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA in late 2006, Under the Bones of the Great Blue Whale is essentially 1960s/1970s-style soul but with jazz and rock overtones -- and many of the jazz overtones come from the band that accompanies Brooks, especially alto saxophonist Marcus Monteiro (who is featured extensively). Nonetheless, this 68-minute CD is an R&B album first and foremost, although many of the songs that Brooks performs didn't come out of R&B. Sam Cooke's "Bring It on Home to Me" and the Aretha Franklin hits "Baby, I Love You" and "Chain of Fools" certainly came out of R&B; they are are soul classics. But the expressive Brooks also takes an R&B approach to everything from the Beatles' "You Can't Do That" and Sting's "Fragile" to Harry Warren's "At Last" (which is a Tin Pan Alley song but previously received the soul treatment from Etta James on her great 1961 version). Through it all, Brooks enjoys a very strong rapport with the band, which is interesting when one considers that she had never performed with Monteiro or any of the other musicians before this show. Under the Bones of the Great Blue Whale doesn't pretend to be groundbreaking, but if Brooks is short on originality, she certainly isn't lacking when it comes to feeling, emotion, or vocal chops. Fans of old-school soul will enjoy this solid, if derivative, release. ~ Alex Henderson

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Bring It on Home to Me - 5:19
  2. 2. Look of Love - 6:27
  3. 3. Chain of Fools - 7:26
  4. 4. You Can't Do That - 5:35
  5. 5. At Last - 5:01
  6. 6. Amazing Grace - 8:28
  7. 7. Baby I Love You - 5:21
  8. 8. Since I Fell for You - 6:56
  9. 9. Fragile - 7:36
  10. 10. Chicken - 8:27
  11. 11. Amazing Grace - 4:20

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