Barbara McNair ~ I Enjoy Being A Girl

December 26, 2013
John Thomas
Barbara McNair
TECaid Recording Studios Co, Inc.
Producer: John Thomas
Number of discs: 1

First of all, don’t start off by comparing her to any other singer. Barbara is herself. She is a singular, warm and lovely young lady. She sings with taste, taste that hides disguised under her youth. In any other corner of the music world, it’s a crime if you call a women a woman. For instance, calling some girl “one of the world’s great female pianists,” for instance, is the worst kind of drag. Barbara is one of the world’s all time feminine girl woman female singers. She does not fear gender. She revels in it. Another thing. In the three sessions Barbara hosted to create this album, she was obviously at the peak of her powers. Stronger than ever following her starring role in Richard Rodgers’ “No Strings.” During these sessions the moon was right. The blues were all forgot. It was a time to rise up and shout. Three sessions: Number on is with strings – violins, violas, and cellos – and rhythm, and no-lie-type singing of such numbers as Irma la Douce. Session two is a tight-knit, dandy little group of four trombones, a trumpet, a baritone sax, and four rhythm; from it comes Big City kind of singing: numbers like If I Had a Hammer and For Lonesome Me. But mostly, it’s session three that stands out for me: five numbers (the title tune, On Second Thought, Stairway to Paradise, On the Other Side of the Tracks, and The Friendliest Thing), a big, blowing, fifteen-man horn section, and the ever-moving Barbara, looking up, feeling it, making it, singing it. For those who know where The Niceness lives, they’ll find it’s moved in here, too. Twelve good songs and true, rendered warm as the heart of a tree. All by Barbara, who’ll sing you no lies.

Mel Torme

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