Susie Arioli, Spring (Spectra Musique)
A longtime favorite in Canada, Susie Arioli’s fame could spread abroad on the strength of her singing in this collection. Indeed, strength is a fair description of her work, not in terms of force or volume but of lyric interpretation, phrasing and time feeling that sends her gliding through a song. Whether at sprightly tempos, as in her composition “Loverboy,” in ballads or a classic blues like “Evenin’,” she is in cool control, her alto voice impeccably in tune. An ensemble of Canadian stars assembled by veteran producer John Snyder and headed by multi-instrumentalist Don Thompson puts her in compatible company. There are notable solos from Thompson, saxophonist Phil Dwyer and trumpeter Kevin Turcotte. Bassist Neil Swainson, drummer Terry Clarke and guitarist Reg Schwager are the forthright rhythm section. Of her originals, Ms. Arioli’s drinker’s lament “Can’t Say No,” tinged with remorse, could cross into C&W territory.