Being Boring (Music Thoughts: Me, Darby Williams)

imagesIn Darby Williams ‘About Darby’ bio on her website, the first words to describe her are: “tall, blond, bodacious and sensual.” I mean, who cares about the music, right? (For the record, her album cover does seem to prove she is tall, blond, maybe bodacious, and sensual? I wouldn’t know ) “Me,” her album, is composed of songs by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, so she is not playing around here. I mean, she sings “Lush Life,” the ultimate test of a jazz singer. So how is her version? It’s passable, but also unmemorable. If you played it again for me, I wouldn’t know it was hers. Williams, in my opinion, is a pop singer, and here she is singing in mostly jazz setting, which isn’t the worst thing in the world (That’s how Tony Bennett started, and some purists feel he is still there)  If only the record wasn’t so bland. It’s so generic that I am neither moved nor unmoved by it. She goes through the Ellington songbook competently enough: “Mood Indigo,” “Daydream” And she duets with Peabo Bryson on “No One Knows,” and the arrangement for that track is more smooth jazz. (For teh record, she has good vocal chemistry with Bryson) But…it’s all just forgettable. And for me, being boring is the worst crime in music.

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