By Alan Cho
The sultry, seductive crooning of a jazz standard is becoming overly familiar in today’s music scene. With artists such as Norah Jones and Diana Krall exploding in popularity, it seems a new female vocalist weaned on a mixture of jazz and soul arises weekly. Throwing her hat in the ring with Lies of Handsome Men is local jazz vocalist Glennis Houston.
It’s not as if Houston and her musicians aren’t up to the task, the problem is they only do an adequate job. A certain touch of soul is missing from the music, the arrangements coming off as too cold and mechanical. It’s evident in the odd scat that Houston has a powerful voice, but she seems satisfied in keeping up with the conventional arrangements.
Lies of Handsome Men is not a bad album, per se, it just needs a bit of grit and funk to become more than a safe jazz album you can give to your senile grandmother.