On The Blue Room, her second Decca recording, Madeleine Peyroux and producer Larry Klein re-examine the influence of Ray Charles' revolutionary 1962 date, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. They don't try to re-create the album, but remake some of its songs and include others by composers whose work would benefit from the genre-blurring treatment Charles pioneered. Bassist David Pilch, drummer Jay Bellerose, guitarist Dean Parks, and pianist/organist Larry Goldings are the perfect collaborators. Most these ten tracks feature string arrangements by Vince Mendoza. Five tunes here are reinterpretations of Charles' from MSICAWM. "Take These Chains" commences as a sultry jazz tune, and in Peyroux's vocal, there is no supplication – only a demand. Parks' pedal steel moves between sounding like itself and a clarinet. Goldings' alternating B-3 and Rhodes piano offer wonderful color contrast and make it swing. Her take on "Bye Bye Love" feels as if it's being narrated to a confidante, and juxtaposes early Western swing with a bluesy stroll. A rock guitar introduces "I Can't Stop Loving You," but Peyroux's phrasing has more country-blues in it than we've heard from her before. The use of a trumpet in "Born to Lose" and "You Don't Know Me," with Mendoza's dreamy strings, allow for Peyroux to deliver her most stylized jazz performances on the set.
Caro Emerald came out of nowhere in 2009 with the summertime hit "Back It Up," a catchy jazz-pop song with a dance beat. The follow-up single, "A Night Like This," was an even bigger hit, topping the Dutch charts. By the time Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor came around, Emerald was well established as one of the most exciting new artists to emerge from the Netherlands in some time, and her full-length album debut was eagerly awaited. It includes the smash hit singles "Back It Up" and "A Night Like This," both written by Vincent de Giorgio, David Schreurs, and Jan van Wieringen. The latter two Dutchmen are Emerald's producers. They released Deleted Scenes from the Cutting Room Floor on their Amsterdam label Grandmono Records.
The Martin Hayes Quartet expands on many of the musical ideas pursued by Martin in his longstanding partnership with Dennis Cahill. The melody still remains central but now with an added range of sonic possibilities provided by the bass clarinet and viola d'amore. The addition of these instruments creates an added aural texture and amplifies the rhythmic possibilities while also allowing a larger role for improvisation. Both Doug and Liz bring a wealth of musical experience that contributes to the spacious, rich arrangements of the Quartet.