Robin McKelle is not a new name for me, as I think I have maybe one or two of her earlier efforts. But I was never a fan, as I remember most of her discs have her mostly original recordings, moist of which, well, let’s just say that they are just not for me. But she has amassed a following, so I take all of that as my problem, not hers. She has released her new album, ‘Alterations,’ which is a covers album, of songs from female artists, likes Joni Mitchell, Adele, and Amy Winehouse.
It’s a more ‘accessible’ effort, for sure. She definitely, for better or worse, puts her own spin on these songs. Her sound is not strictly jazz, there are country and soul influences in her arrangements. For me, not all of them work, while she gets the angst of Joplin in ‘Merceds Benz,’ I missed the airiness of Sade’s ‘No Ordinary Love.’ I do think that this is one of those albums that will grown on you as you listen to it more – these interpretations are very personal and there are subtleties here that aren ‘t easily visible on first listens. Again, it’s me.