Saratoga Springs vocalist and pianist Carol R. Daggs executes jazz vocals with humility and an approach that is in the moment. Who knows how many times she has enjoyed playing these songs for her own pleasure, but familiarity does not stop her from seeking deeper into their soul. Listeners get a chance to share this woman’s joy—really good, content joy—singing being the expression but also the joy itself. We witness this joy.
I had to stop the CD in order to focus on writing. The melodies keep taking me away. This is not drop-everything jazz—it slowly reels you in, and by the time it reaches the fourth song, an R&B hip-hop version of Daggs’s own tune “Actions Speak Louder Than Words,” you are “there.” Her approach to such standards as Frank Loesser and Hoagy Carmichael’s “Heart and Soul” and Duke Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” brings a looseness and organic quality to the music. The songs are given enough air to breathe, and they bubble with life. Daggs’s raw imperfection is the perfection of this album, a foot deep in the ground while traveling the heavens.