Personnel: Polly Podewell (vocals); Fred Cooper (tenor saxophone); Dick Shreve, Ross Tompkins (piano); Jake Hanna (drums).
Recording information: Sage & Sound Recording Studios, Hollywood, CA (11/11/1994).
Like Rosemary Clooney, Polly Podewell does not improvise all that much but she uplifts every song she sings. When backed with a superior rhythm section as on this date (which features pianist Ross Tompkins, bassist Dave Carpenter and drummer Jake Hanna), Podewell has an opportunity to show off her ability to swing at any tempo. Her phrasing is charming, her interpretations emotional and thoughtful, and her voice is quite appealing. This release has fine versions of a variety of standards, some of which (including "After You," "He Needs Me" and "You Go Your Way") are not all that familiar. Dick Shreve (who contributed two originals) plays piano on his "Bourbon Rain" and the Zoot Sims-inspired tenor Fred Cooper helps out on three numbers. Other highlights include "Nobody Else But Me," "Sweet And Low-Down," "Why Can't You Beahave" and a cooking version of "There'll Be Some Changes Made." A delightful outing. ~ Scott Yanow