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Live In Montreux (1991)

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Rachelle Ferrell

Although vocalist Rachelle Ferrell is a bizarre singer whose idiosyncratic style is often at odds with her mainstream material, fans of the singer will certainly find much to enjoy on Live at Montreux. The CD collects various performances Ferrell gave at the Swiss music festival from 1991 to 1997. Primarily a jazz singer, Ferrell has also made forays into R&B and often melds the two styles. Prone to showcasing her six-octave range, she often accents songs in odd places, displays myriad vocal stylings in one phrase, and basically over-sings much of the time. Think of her as a combination of Betty Carter and Patti Labelle and you might enjoy yourself. Much of the first set on Live at Montreux features songs off her 1989 debut, First Instrument. Ending that set is "Prayer Dance," which spotlights Ferrell seemingly mimicking the high, laser tones of a theremin. Special guest pianist George Duke also makes an appearance.