Publick Ptomaine Music
See the name, and one of two expectations for this CD are sure to come to mind: (1) slightly gothic pop a la Evanescence or (2) tropical rock. Both would be incorrect. This is not the same angelic-voiced Amy Lee of Evanescence fame, nor is this Amy Lee playing the same music she did with Jimmy Buffett. While the title track does conjure an island breeze, this is straightforward jazz — and it’s skillfully and attractively played. Her cover of Bill Withers’s “Use Me” features some scorching sax, and it’ll probably receive the most attention because of the Withers connection. However, this is an album that progressively improves as Lee tops herself with succeeding songs.
“Across the Water” slows the tempo; it is cinematic and gorgeous, evoking images of a romantic evening cruise. Lee’s luscious saxophone playing carries the track through waves of crystalline harmony. More genial moods are represented on “Coming Home” and the especially catchy “In The Sun.”
Two non-instrumentals, “Traz Da Lua” and “More to Love,” are absolutely stunning, as Lee’s sax is used to complement her emotionally powerful guest vocalists. Lee doesn’t sing, and there’s no reason to do so; her saxophone communicates enough feeling to interpret the stories she’s telling. Just close your eyes and let the images run free.
Amy Lee: www.amyleesax.com