Funny, I was just on YouTube the other day watching Deborah Cox's sassy 1996 video for Who Do U Love (where the Canadian R&B star tells off her cheatin'-ass man while descending a fire escape with her girls), wondering whatever happened to her.
She's had a few Billboard hits in the 21st century, but this Dinah Washington tribute album is a major about-face for Cox, who's rarely strayed from the pop/soul/dance realm. It's meticulously produced, crawling with silken strings, big-band horns, crisp upright bass and crystal piano keys, the music surrounding Cox's smooth, enunciated vocals perfectly.
But I just listened to some Dinah Washington, and Cox lacks the coarse, plaintive quality that gave the jazz singer's Alabama-inflected vocals their toughness.
Cox stops by the Royal Ontario Museum Saturday (June 2).