Banu Gibson continues to demonstrate her love of standards from the ’30s and ’40s on her latest release, By Myself, on her own Swing Out label. The vocalist uses minimal backing with guitarist Larry Scala, bassist Ed Wise and saxophonist/clarinetist Rex Gregory making up the drumless combo. Later, pianist Tom McDermott steps in for a couple duos with Gibson, including Randy Newman’s “Dayton, Ohio – 1903.” It stands as the most recently composed song on the disc though its flavor and sentiments reflect days long ago. The tunes, written by a number of composers, come out of the American songbook and have been sung and recorded by legends such as Ella Fitzgerald (“Ill Wind”), Frank Sinatra (“The Moon Got in My Eyes”), Billie Holiday (“You Let Me Down”) and others. The selections chosen by Gibson, who interprets them in her signature good-natured style, aren’t necessarily those oft-performed tunes well-known to general audiences.
Following several ballads, the more uptempo “Never in a Million Years” provides a foot-tapping rhythm with the help of Scala’s guitar and Wise’s walking bass. The mood continues on “Oh! Look at Me Now” with Gregory moving from clarinet to sax.
Banu’s many longtime fans will be thrilled and satisfied reminiscing on listening to By Myself.