Bring It Back
Time is a relative term for Catherine Russell, a late bloomer who has sang backup for many modern-day stars. Her own material has been steeped in early jazz and blues since she made her debut in 2006. Suffice to say, the title of her fifth solo album may be her agenda as well as the name of the opening tune. Here, the daughter of two jazz musicians—her dad played with Louis Armstrong in the ‘40s and led bands, while her Juilliard-trained mom played bass and sang—pays tribute to her parents by covering tunes she associates with them, using a swinging 10-piece band instead of her usual small groups. The results are predictably excellent. Russell covers her dad’s “Lucille” and offers new versions of classics like a lush-sounding “I Cover the Waterfront” and a light “I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart.” Even when she does soulful blues like the title track, there’s an upbeat tone that screams for a Saturday night out dancing and having fun—and that’s something that's never gone out of style for Russell or anyone else.