is justly celebrated for her work as the soprano voice in Manhattan Transfer
, but her work outside of that ensemble is just as impressive, if sometimes less flashy. This solo album, in fact, is notable for its lack of pyrotechnical wizardry, and is all the stronger for it. Focusing almost exclusively on standards, Talk of the Town
singing with an almost Ella Fitzgerald
-like transparency, imposing little of her own ego on the material and avoiding heavy-handed interpretation. This is not to say that she sings without personality or style -- simply that she sings like someone who wants to showcase the songs themselves rather than her own artistry. The result is quietly spectacular: on straightforwardly melodic fare like Cole Porter
's "You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To" and the classic ballad "These Foolish Things," the songs are like jewels in simple but lush settings; on more difficult numbers, such as "Little Butterfly" (which consists of lyrics by Jon Hendricks
set to the Thelonious Monk
composition "Pannonica"), she negotiates the tricky changes with grace and deceptive ease. Bentyne
's voice sounds the way a warm shower feels. Very highly recommended.