Chicago native and classically trained pianist Patricia Barber's sixth album is a collection of downtempo standards, perfect for a rainy day. Taking on classics like "Autumn Leaves," "I Fall in Love Too Easily," "Bye Bye Blackbird," or even "Alfie" is always a risk, but her confident vocals and interpretations eradicate any doubt that she is a master.
Her production is spare, allowing her to sing with such melancholy it's almost eerie. Not many performers can relay such harrowing feeling without over-emoting, but Barber makes it seem effortless. Nightclub is an appropriate title; listening to these love songs is like being in a smoky room, courted by a lounge singer.
And MoFi's amazing hybrid SACD, mastered from the original tapes, places you in the lounge, with Barber and company onstage just feet away. Jazz and vocal recordings don't come any better.