Music review: You Make me Feel so Young, Karen Young

You Make me Feel so Young

With both insouciance and passion, singer Karen Young engages and entertains in the many facets of music she has explored. Young is at her best with the standard repertoire, where we first got to hear her as part of the lamented Bug Alley Band.

Here, she is joined by friends/collaborators, guitarist Sylvain Provost and bassist Normand Guilbeault on nine songs that display her broad interests and ability to give tunes new contours, the known and less known. Her up-tempo reading of You Make Me Feel So Young, beautifully extended by guitarist Provost, is delivered with aplomb. Young does not overplay the hipsterish side of Joni Mitchell’s playful Be Cool, and on Cole Porter’s So in Love, we hear emotional depth. In Monk’s Ask Me Now, lyrics by Jon Hendricks, Young reconnects with jazz’s golden age in the early 1960s – tenderly hip.

She has fun with Hendricks’ lyrics to Lester Young’s Tickle Toe. She tackles Wayne Shorter’s more musically complex Chief Crazy Horse and gives it other worldly contours, then scats away, with strong support from Provost and Guilbeault. George Brassens’ sarcastic Mourir pour les idées – you first, he says to leaders –
references that jazz-like tradition of the French chansonniers, while Nature Boy, a Nat King Cole hit, written by hippie pioneer eden ahbez (no caps), is a fitting wrap to a terrific album!

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