She had me at “Bewitched!” Not the Songbook standard that Suzanna Ross’ clever album title humorously references, but a snappy, sexy and swinging bass-vocal driven twist on the classic TV show theme, little heard lyrics and all.
This track may pique everyone’s curiosity, but the veteran NYC jazz and cabaret performer has many more all over the proverbial map musical goodies in store over the course of 15 tracks – that, by design, invite listeners into her mother’s living room to experience wonderfully fresh interpretations of what Ross experienced during her formative years.
From the whimsical, easy swinging romance of Kenny Rankin’s “Haven’t We Met” and Jobim’s gently swaying “Dreamer” to the playful French chanson “Ces petits riens,” a bustling, tempo shifting “My Favorite Things” and a romp through “There’s A Kind of Hush,” it sounds like a delightful childhood in which the singer was attentive to the many jazzy ways songs could be interpreted. Two back to back tracks summarize Ross’ joyful, breakneck mood swings.
She follows the cheerful funky romp “Come to Baby, Do!” with a sweet and restrained “Over the Rainbow,” which she sings almost entirely in French. With Bewitched*, Ross has created not only an engaging debut but a true master class in jazz eclecticism.