Jazz singer Susannah McCorkle comes out swinging and smoking on her new label. No More Blues is surely the best McCorkle collection since The People You Never Get to Love. The singer’s phrasing is adroit, her verve and intelligence palpable and her taste impeccable.
The album is a judicious blend: There are the less than familiar tunes, among them “No More Blues,” reprised with a bit more salsa, from People You Never Get to Love; Dave Frishberg’s “Can’t Take You Nowhere” (“You knock back the schnapps/ You talk back to cops/ You walk in the room and conversation stops”) and Gerry Mulligan’s “Pearly Sue.” There are standards too. “Fascinating Rhythm,” including the seldom heard opening verse (“Got a little rhythm, a rhythm, a rhythm/ That pitter-pats in my brain/ So darn persistent/ The day isn’t distant/ When it’ll drive me insane”), hasn’t sounded this good in years. “Breezin’ Along with the Breeze,” “Do Nothing till You Hear from Me” and an achingly wistful “P.S. I Love You” are welcome again too. And in McCorkle’s irony-sensitive hands, “Who Cares” becomes an incredulous, joyful anthem for the giddily love struck. McCorkle is well served by a corps of musicians that includes guitarists Emily Remler and Bucky Pizzarelli and pianist-composer Frishberg. Quick encore, please. (Concord)