Howe Gelb & Lonna Kelley – Further Standards (Fire Records)

Another gorgeous helping of late night lounge love songs smouldering with desire and longing.

There are a couple of new songs. Some recycled. And the majority live from last year’s tour of Future Standards.

The great news is the central presence of Lonna Kelley who is becoming a regular collaborator of Gelb’s.

Her persuasive voice mercifully free of vibrato is a wonderful foil to Gelb’s insinuating melodies.

The two new songs ‘Presumptuous’ and ‘All you need to know’ are both worthy additions to Gelb’s epic canon of work and to the body of the classic American songbook.

What’s also fascinating is to ponder how Tucson – a part of the US you might associate with the Mexican border and country music and what might be called Americana or folk or roots – can give rise to this convincing blend of jazz and blues and maybe Gershwin.

Amounting to a brand of lounge that detours in a carefree manner around the dreaded Easy Listening label.

That is to say they contain a deceptive depth.

Something you realise as you hum along breezily.


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