Robin McKelle "Modern Antique" Album Review

by Jeff Simon, eJazz News
July 6, 2008

Robin McKelle is very much her own jazz singer.

Robin McKelle, “Modern Antique” (Cheap Lullaby). This one’s going to surprise the daylights out of you. In the realm of big band retro jazz singing, think of the Rochester-born McKelle as the pyrotechnic and often brilliant female version of Michael Buble. She’s close to sensational at times here. And even though she’s now based in Boston, she seems to have the cream of Los Angeles’ studio finest here with her in her terrific big band (Andy Snitzer, Pete Christlieb). It’s certainly true that you can sometimes catch her in the act of being a little derivative of some of the greatest jazz singers before her (of Dinah Washington, for instance, on “I Want to Be Loved”), but she’s very much her own singer and there’s nothing the slightest bit tentative or cutesy about her either. She is, in every way, the real thing. More than a little rare these days, eh what? ★★★ 1/2