Toronto's Lori Cullen's singing suggests she's one of those shy, demure, girls you think are prudish but end up going totally wild given the chance. The slow dazzle and smooth subtlety of her fourth album is sure to win her more converts. Reworking songs by Joni Mitchell, Bruce Cockburn and Richard Thompson shows an affinity for folk and pop, a refreshing change from the ubiquitous Gershwin standards on many new jazz albums. Her vocals don't dominate the mix, which highlights the interplay between Cullen and the rhythm section. Jim Creeggan and Kurt Swinghammer lend a hand, but it's the quartet that seals the deal here.
Cullen plays Montreal Bistro Friday and Saturday (January 27 and 28).