Honestly, I didn’t think anyone besides Ella Fitzgerald would inspire me to dream of an album featuring only scat and no actual lyrics. Yet veteran jazz singer Rachel Caswell’s ability to convey an expansive range of emotions via her colorful, swinging scatability on her new album We’re All In The Dance has me once again pondering the viability of such an endeavor once again.
Remarkably, that’s only one of the hypnotic heart harpoons the singer has in her storytelling arsenal. She’s got breezy, emotionally spot on phrasing, a great sense of swing and an ease with blues as well as jazz. She also surrounds herself with brilliant soloists (for those moments between her spicy scats and heartfelt, poetic magic), including her sister Sara Casell, who soars on violin on three tracks, and electric guitarist Dave Stryker – who also produced this triumphant collection.
Caswell’s choice of stories to convey is impressive, too – ranging from a brilliant Feist song with lyrics by Will Jennings we may have overlooked (the title track) to gems by Sting, Henry Mancini, Bob Dorough, Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk.