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TRACK LISTING

1. I'd Rather Be Somewhere Hot (3:19)

2. Blue Skies (5:52)

3. If I Only Had A Brain (7:08)

4. Day In, Day Out (3:06)

5. Golden Earrings (4:41)

6. I'm Putting All My Eggs In One Basket (3:25)

7. Summer Night (3:53)

8. Try To Remember (3:17)

9. Get Out Of Town (4:39)

10. The Breeze And I (3:57)

11. I Remember (3:30)

12. Butterfly (5:21)

13. That's All (4:55)

14. Reality (4:09)

15. Red Sails In The Sunset (5:55)

16. Blackberry Winter (2:35)

17. Try To Remember (4:48)

REVIEW

The same superb sound that emerged on Downward Dancing is equally evident throughout Plato’s latest release, a double-disc set entitled Out of Town. As she explains in the liner notes, the title can be taken literally. Plato departed Vancouver and relocated in London (London, Ontario that is) for the sessions. In recent years, pianist John Roney has often accompanied Plato on her club dates across Canada. On Out of Town the superbly simpatico relationship they’ve established on the road is at last captured. Though Roney is front-and-center on most of the 17 tracks, additional support is provided by cellist Christine Newland and bassist Brendan Davis.

The first disc is intentionally the more upbeat of the two. Plato opens with a bouncy original, the peppery “I’d Rather Be Somewhere Hot,” a paean to warmer climates dedicated to snowbound Canadians. The tempo remains bright and sunny for her arrestingly offbeat arrangement of “Blues Skies.” Then the proceedings slow for a leisurely, seven-minute ramble through “If I Only Had a Brain.” Plato again revs up for a feverish “Day In, Day Out” and a mid-tempo “I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket” that is cunningly sensuous. “Golden Earrings” is given a balladic reading that is fittingly mysterious. Plato’s unfettered handling of Harry Warren’s too-rarely covered “Summer Night” packs plenty of lusty August heat and there’s s parallel abundance of barely-contained hunger in her “Get Out of Town.” Rounding out the first CD is an appropriately wistful “Try to Remember.”

The second platter gets underway with a gorgeously reflective “The Breeze and I.” The meditative mood continues through Stephen Sondheim’s pensive “I Remember” and “Butterfly,” a sweet ode to youthful curiosity from celebrated children’s entertainer Jennifer Gasoi. Plato’s “That’s All” is suitably tender, and the raw power of her “Red Sails In the Sunset” superbly captures the lyric’s profound sense of contentment. As a counterpointed bookend to the sizzling “I’d Rather Be Somewhere Hot,” Plato closes with a masterfully barren exploration of Alec Wilder’s regret-fueled “Blackberry Winter.” A second, more contemplative version of “Try to Remember” is added as a bonus track.

- JazzTimes

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