January 25, 1988 12:00 PM

Shannon Gibbons

Not bothering to hide her ambitions, Gibbons leads off her debut album with Steve Allen’s This Could Be the Start of Something Big—a song popular in Vegas for its built-in self-promotion. But Gibbons, a stylish jazz-pop singer from the West Coast, doesn’t need to hype her obvious talent. She fills every crevice of Allen’s melody with a dazzling voice that speeds, slows, swings and shouts. She’s showing off, as if she had to display all she’s got in one number or bust. Her technique is extraordinary but exhausting. Two gorgeous ballads, Stevie Wonder’s Lately and Jule Styne’s Make Someone Happy, get some of the same overcooked treatment. Gibbons fares considerably better when she’s not trying so hard. She is deft and assured with the intricate rhythms of This Can’t Be Love and There Will Never Be Another You. More promisingly, on such standards as My One and Only Love and But Beautiful, she warms to the lyrics and gently guides them to the listener’s heart. Let’s hear more of this Shannon Gibbons on the sure-to-be album No. 2. (Soul Note)

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