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BWW CD Review: Josie Falbo YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING Will Put a Spring In Your Step

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The extraordinary Chicago chanteuse scores with her new album

BWW CD Review: Josie Falbo YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING Will Put a Spring In Your Step

When the CD starts you know it's going to be good. The opening is so lush, so pretty, so full of elegance, romance, and emotion - and that's before Josie Falbo even opens her mouth to sing! No album that starts with a sound like that provided by all those strings could fail to satisfy, and you know it. Then it happens - Josie joins in, and you know you're in for a treat.

In the great tradition of Shirley Horn and Anita O'Day, Josie Falbo has released YOU MUST BELIEVE IN SPRING, a cd of 13 tracks, each one better than the last, all of them so spectacular that, at times, you may find yourself surprised over what you're hearing. With this new release, Ms. Falbo has created a thing of pure joy, from the perfection of her vocals to the awe-inspiring work of the orchestra, from the song selection to the stellar arrangements by Carey Deadman. Even a little laugh that floats from Falbo up into the microphone on "Joy Spring" is enough to make happy the heart. This is an album that will, undoubtedly, inspire in many the elation that Falbo feels for and from her music. Let there be no misunderstanding: this is not an album of up-tempo songs about sunshine and puppies - there are plenty of ballads, sultry, serious, serene and sublime, the kind of songs one doesn't immediately equate with dancing a jig; just listening to the supreme artistry of Falbo & co., though, is enough to make a listener feel happy. The reverence dedicated to the music and the listener is that impressive.

You Must Believe In Spring covers a lot of musical ground, both stylistically and chronologically. With compositions ranging from the beloved Rodgers and Hart classic "Manhattan" to the Arlen/Capote ballad "A Sleepin' Bee" to the title track, Josie Falbo doesn't only showcase the songs of various decades, she shows off her ability to swing, bop, scat, croon, purr, and belt, and there is nothing she can do wrong. The CD without a theme gives her permission to do what feels organic, as an artist, keeping every moment authentic to the woman she is, probably one of the main reasons you can tell she's really having fun. The arrangements on the aforementioned songs are out of sight, with "A Sleepin' Bee" being performed in an atypically jaunty fashion that is wonderfully original and most welcome, and "Manhattan" orchestrated with all the flamboyant extravagance both she and the song deserve. Indeed, as glorious as the sometimes traditional treatments are for the balladic standards, where the album achieves the most effective moments of note are the up tempos when Falbo can let loose and take her voice to all the wondrous places possible (the "Just You Just Me" is reason enough to buy the CD). The lady is a marvel and this album serves as palpable validation for the career she has had and the respect she has earned, particularly during the back-to-back cuts of "Midnight At The Starlight Haunted Ballroom" and "Estate".

The 50 piece orchestra backing Falbo on the stunning album are some of the most talented people a singer would be lucky to sing with, and this New York music lover is thinking a post-COVID trip to Chicago to hear them live might be in order. Between them, Deadman and Falbo, what we have here is not only a great CD for jazz aficionados, it's a perfect album to introduce someone to the musical genre. Sometimes people can be intimidated by jazz music but You Must Believe In Spring highlights the different ways an artist can sing in the style without overwhelming, by keeping it true to the composers, the compositions and the lady standing at the mic, a place she was, clearly, born to be.

Josie Falbo You Must Believe in Spring is a release on the Southport Records label, available for pre-order, with a September 25th release date.

Visit the Josie Falbo website HERE


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From This Author Stephen Mosher