Marc Meyers October 02, 2011
CD discoveries of the week. Vocalist Shirley Crabbe has a big, wide-open optimistic style that's reminiscent of a young, excited Sarah Vaughan. Crabbe's honest, swinging attack is fully evident on Home (MaiSong). Backed on select tracks by tenor saxophonist Houston Person, Crabbe runs through songs that are perfectly tailored to her barefoot-in-the-grass style--Lucky to Be Me, You Taught My Heart to Sing, Roland Hanna's Seasons, Detour Ahead, Not While I'm Around, Oscar Brown's Strong Man and Carole King'sSo Far Away. This is a gorgeous album from a lovely singer—proving that vocalists can indeed choose lesser-known gems rather than adhering to glue-factory Songbook fare.