Saturday, September 8, 2018

Judith Lorick: “The Second Time Around” (2018) CD Review

Judith Lorick is a jazz vocalist currently based in New York, though having lived a good deal of time in France (and before that, California).  Her voice is full of passion and love, a voice we can connect to right away. It is also a voice of experience, and it is surprising to learn that her new album, The Second Time Around, is only her second release (and that it comes quite a long time after her first release). The title then has more than one significance; the album is about a second chance with the love of her life, as well as being her second time putting out a recording. Joining her on this album are Eric Reed on piano (Reed also co-produced the album), Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, McClenty Hunter on drums, Kiyoshi Kitagawa on bass, and Chris Lewis on tenor saxophone.

The album opens with “Why Did I Choose You,” which starts with some soft and pretty playing on piano, setting the tone. After a minute or so, Judith Lorick’s vocals come in, sounding gorgeous and smooth. And then that horn, like a supporting voice behind her, adds to the song’s sweet beauty. This track has a wonderful late-night vibe, and feels like a warm embrace. “And when I lost my heart so many years ago/I lost it lovingly and willingly to you/If I had to choose again, I would still choose you.” Perfect. That’s followed by “Lucky To Be Me,” and Eric Reed also begins this one on piano. His piano and her voice take us to a gentler, more romantic, beautiful world, a world of caresses and poetry, a world of red wine and candles, a world many of us crave. “What a night/Suddenly you came in sight/Looking just the way I'd hope you'd be/I'm so lucky to be me.” My favorite moment of this song is when she sings, “Knew at once I wanted you/Never dreamed you’d want me too,” and the horn comes in to carry us away into the romantic night.

The trumpet is there from the start of “Wild Is The Wind,” a track with a great, sultry sound. This is a song I first heard done by David Bowie (it’s on his Station To Station album), and still associate it with him. But I love what Judith Lorick does with it, and I like the ending, the playful interaction between keys and horn, and wish it went on a bit longer (or a lot longer). That’s followed by a medley of “For All We Know” and “I’ll Be Seeing You,” a wonderful combination, Judith’s beautiful voice supported by piano. “For all we know/This may only be a dream/We come and we go/Like the ripples of a stream/So love me tonight.” How can your heart not react to these words, to her delivery?

“I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life” has something of a different feel from most of the other tracks, with a bit more pep. It’s a more playful rendition, but still with gorgeous vocals. That’s followed by “When I Look Into Your Eyes,” which features a beautiful and moving lead on horn. It’s an excellent track, but probably my favorite is “Hymne A L’amour,” which follows it. This one is sung in French at first. What is it about this language that makes it always sound so beautiful? I don’t know. Judith Lorick then switches to English. “If it seems that everything is lost/I should smile and never count the cost/If you love me, really love me/Let it happen, I won’t care.” Yup, a reminder of how love is more important than all the shit going on out there. Judith then concludes the album with its title track, “The Second Time Around.” This track makes me feel good, and I love the little laugh that she gives after the line “There are those who bet love comes but once,” telling us just how she feels. “I’m oh-so-glad we met the second time around.”

CD Track List
  1. Why Did I Choose You
  2. Lucky To Be Me
  3. Wild Is The Wind
  4. For All We Know/I’ll Be Seeing You
  5. He Needs Me
  6. If You Could See Me Now
  7. I’m Gonna Laugh You Right Out Of My Life
  8. When I Look In Your Eyes
  9. Hymne A L’amour
  10. The Second Time Around
The Second Time Around is scheduled to be released on September 28, 2018.

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