Lillian Boutte, Lipstick Traces: New Orleans R&B Sessions (Blues Beacon)

I can’t think of more superlatives to say about this album. Lillian Boutte, the long-time favorite jazz singer from New Orleans who spends half her time touring overseas, has put together a very tasty R&B album, recorded in the Crescent City at Sea-Saint Studios. Recorded with a host of New Orleans musicians, the album includes the talents of Erving Charles, Jr., Joseph “Smokey” Johnson, John Boutte, Manuel Lopez and international musicians Thomas L’Etienne and Ludwig Seus. The music on this CD is incredible, with some knockout blues jumpers and some down-home soul ballads. The album contains a great version of “Rough and Ready” (originally done by Alberta Hunter and New Orleans’ own Annie Laurie); “Cherry Red”; the classic Etta James song “Something’s Got A Hold On Me”; the Solomon Burke classic, “Cry To Me”; and a tribute to Jay McShann and Lil Green’s “Why Don’t You Do Right.” The entire CD showcases the talented vocal quality and extremely soulful performance of Ms. Boutte, and should take her from the jazz genre into an R&B mainstream.