Integrating hues of adult contemporary pop with shades of torchlight blues and jazz-imbued aesthetics, vocalist Calabria Foti delivers a pleasing tribute to composer Cole Porter with her recording, In the Still of the Night. Produced and arranged by her pianist, Michael Patterson, the offering sparkles with Foti’s sultry vocals, encapsulated in silky orchestrations that remind audiences of an island escape presented in an array of harmonious forms. Joined by a roster of New York City-based musicians that includes Eddie Daniels on clarinet, Gene Bertoncini on guitar, Richard Locker on cello, Bob McChesney on trombone, Ike Strum on bass, and Jared Schonig on drums, the arrangements put a new glaze on a classic repertoire.
The introspective phrasing of Foti’s vocals in the title track melds into the torchlight blues tint of the cello, finessing the lyrics with slow and even strokes. The warm tones of Foti’s vocals seduce the listener to dream along with the words as she muses, “So before the light / Hold me again / With all your might / In the still of the night.” Keeping in vane with Porter’s theme of dreaming of a love everlasting, the lyrics of “I Concentrate on You” purport, “And so when wise men say to me / That love’s young dream never comes true / To prove that even the wise men can be wrong / I concentrate on you.” The melody is branded in the expressive nuances of Foti’s vocals, generating an island-like atmosphere with a bossa nova-inspired spirit.
The sultry flavor of Foti’s vocals in “Anything Goes” and “What Is This Thing Called Love” displays another side of her register, the winsome siren whose vocal raptures bestill her audience. The recording dabbles in Latin-tinged rhythms like the rumba patterns woven into “Night and Day” and “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The latter hones a mellow mood, angling a reflective bent in Foti’s vocals, which move into a casual saunter along “Get Out of Town,” sheathed in pensive keys and layered in a whistling clarinet. The CD kicks up the tempo in the upbeat pace of “It’s Alright with Me” and “Just One of Those Things,” rousing a familiar showtunes shuffle with a jazz-style cut. Foti’s vocals project a gazing look in “So in Love” that immerses listeners in the pleasing ambience, a recurring motif throughout the recording.
Calabria Foti’s stylized vocals amplify the introspective arc of Cole Porter’s signature pieces with many lyrics that express dreams of an everlasting love. Foti’s sensitivity to capture the vulnerability shown in Porter’s compositions draw out the charm and elegance of his classic repertoire.
Calabria Foti – vocals, Michael Patterson – piano and arranger, Eddie Daniels – clarinet, Gene Bertoncini – guitar, Richard Locker – cello, Bob McChesney – trombone, Ike Strum – bass, Jared Schonig – drums
“Just One of Those Things,” “Miss Otis Regrets,” “Anything Goes,” “What Is This Thing Called Love,” “Night and Day,” “I Concentrate on You,” “Every Time We Say Goodbye,” “Get Out of Town,” “It’s All Right with Me,” “So in Love,” “In the Still of the Night”