Halie Loren: Stages. CD review by Stanley Fefferman

Stages is the second Halie Loren album to cross my desk is the past few months. This one is a re-issue of a 2010 live album with a pair of bonus tracks.

I have to admit I’m fascinated by her voice, especially the easy way she slips in and out of a falsetto yodel. “Danger in Loving You” has Halie coming on in a Peggy Lee pink see-thru negligée voice, sultry and squeezed, with a touch of country. “Sunny Afternoon” she’s got a kind of Suzie Arioli bounce. She’s moany-groany blue in “Summertime,” a bit more emotionally elaborate than necessary, but interesting all the same. “Cry Me a River” comes on like a cocktail piano blues. ” High Heel Blues” is fun and funny, an a capella seeming-improv of a talking blues story about how she loves shoes. Gutsy.

Halie’s own tune, “More” moves attractively from ballad to upbeat. Matt Treder does a nice piano thing on “I’d Rather Go Blind.” Brian West á la batterie and Mark Scheider on bass keep time steady and cool. Tim McLaughlin is tasteful on trumpet especially the mute bits on “The Girl From Ipanema. The snatches of applause appended to tunes I could do without but they are tastefully brief. This is a nice album to have playing as the dinner guests begin to drift into your condo.


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