REVIEW: Bethany Smith Staelens’ “The Big Band Theory”

It’s not The Big Bang Theory we’re talking about here, but a Big Band Theory (Kotteb), and in this case it’s in reference to the big band era of jazz that vocalist Bethany Smith Staelens represents on her new album.

Now, vocal jazz is something that I’m not too fond of but I like it when someone does something with class and style. Staelens never goes overboard with her singing, as one can here in her versions of “Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone”, “Here’s That Rainy Day”, and “All Or Nothing At All”, the latter which opens up the album. I found myself wanting to hear more as it sounds like she truly loves the music and truly loves to sing, and what works for me: she’s in key. Sometimes I hear a lot of “dentist jazz” and I think damn, this is really awful. The Big Band Theory is not.

As for the band, they remind me of Doc Severinsen‘s band from The Tonight Show or The Airmen Of Note where every note is precise and on time, no time for fooling around. At times it sounds a bit telethon-y, but when you know what you’re doing, it’s better than hearing the opposite.

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