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December 1999

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Buy Francine Reed's CD today

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Francine Reed
Shades of Blue

Francine Reed - Shades of BlueThose of us in the Phoenix area who have had the privilege and pleasure of having Francine Reed as our local treasure for many years, and still anguish over her move to Atlanta, will have reason to rejoice over her newest release, Shades Of Blue. This is the one we've been waiting for. It's a collection of jazz standards, bluesy soul and R&B, and several new songs that cry out to become standards. Add to that mix Francine sounding better than ever, a CD that is not overproduced, great song selection, and you have a winner that should be in everyone's Christmas stocking this year.

Starting with the old chestnut, "The Man That Got Away", and continuing with a classy duet with her sister Margo Reed on "I've Got A Right To Sing The Blues," the tone of the album is cast, leaving the listener to sit back and groove over each subsequent track.

There are three tracks penned by Brenda Burns, a new songwriting name to me, and each song is superb. Give a listen to the beautiful ballad "When Love Was New", the deep soul sound of "I Have A Right To Know," and the bluesy "A Touch of Love," and see if you don't agree.

With a new label and her strongest release by far, it's time for Francine to be acknowledged as one of the finest divas performing today. Whether it is jazz, blues, or soul she has few peers.

This release gets my highest recommendation for all lovers of great singing and a strong candidate for CD of the year. Way to go Francine!

--- Alan Shutro

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