Sharon Marie Cline, This Is Where I Wanna Be (MyHeartsong Productions)

Jonathan Widran
  Jonathan Widran

 

Sharon Marie Cline Celebrated and critically acclaimed L.A. based vocal stylist Sharon Marie Cline has released a live album and holiday project in the past, but those were simply prelude to her glorious emergence as a recording artist with this an exquisite and romantic collection that allows her to declare – on the dreamy and sensual, flute spiced title track, one of two lush originals among 10 well chosen interpretations of classics – that “This Is Where I Wanna Be.”

The set features beautiful, restrained arrangements and understated musical landscapes that allow her run the emotional gamut from playful to heartbreaking. Yet Cline’s true triumph lies in her effortless breezing from easy swinging (“Happy Talk,” an inspired choice from “South Pacific”) to bossa (“Love Dance,” “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars”) to blues (“You Don’t Know What Love Is”). Rather than romp through typical Great American Songbook tunes like other likeminded interpreters, Cline spreads her rich storytelling abilities across the board, mining the magic of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Ivan Lins, Cole Porter, Antonio Carlos Jobim and others who are slightly more obscure but no less worthy. While lovely from the first strains of “Love Dance” through the final notes of “Quiet Nights…”, Cline is at her most heartfelt and imaginative on Neil Sedak’s infectious 70s pop hit “Laughter in the Rain.”

Originally a lighthearted song about lovers in the rain, Cline turns it into a moody and seductive slow dance that leads to some optimistic improvised lyrics and vocalizations at the end – almost as if the sun is just about to peek out from the clouds. That’s a perfect metaphor for Cline’s emergence. This is where jazz vocal fans are going to want to be too!  

 

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- Jonathan Widran