Barbara Montgomery – Little Sunflower
(Two Beans – 2002)
by Raymond Redmond
Oh what a difference a day makes. Barbara Montgomery’s last release Dakini Land was an inspired CD, showing her vocal capabilities and hinting at things to come… like hundreds more we get to hear each year. With her newest offering Little Sunflower, Barbara seems to have taken the next step. On ‘An Illusion’ and ‘Idle Moments’ her vocals are throaty and strong, showing growth in her vocal maturity and control. ‘As The Sun’ is a cover of Freddie Hubbard’s ‘Little Sunflower’ with lyrics she penned herself… Freddie would be proud. The mood of this entire CD can only be described as warm and sultry. Barbara and the band merge into a single cohesive unit, her vocals accenting the music, the players accenting her phrases.Most of the tracks are originals, with a few Chick Corea tracks thrown in. She obviously likes Chick, her last CD being jammed full of Corea covers.
I don’t know whether the credit goes to Barbara, her co-producer Don Lucoff, to the band or to fate itself, but the mixture is just right here. This is listening music… that means you put it on repeat (or shuffle) and leave it on for a while. Barbara Montgomery seems to be on the right track.