Nikki Yanofsky – Nikki (Decca) ***
Canadian jazz singer Nikki Yanofsky is hardly new to the music scene, yet this is the 17-year-old’s debut album – a collection of classic jazz numbers, some traditional and some with a modern touch, and original tracks penned by Phil Ramone and Jesse Harris (the songwriter behind Norah Jones). Several songs show Nikki at her best, but others demonstrate a danger of natural singing talent being somewhat warped by a little too much vocal coaching – the over-done Over The Rainbow being a case in point. An artist with potential who will surely develop into a star of the jazz world.
Charlotte McCallum, 19, student, Bradford
Various – For Coloured Girls (Atlantic) *
The album starts badly for me with a lot of talking, which is never a good thing – where’s the music? When it arrives it is only slightly more inspiring with tracks from Estelle, Leona Lewis and Gladys Knight, to name but a few. There are no stand-out tracks for me on the album, and even on the second listen, I could find nothing to enjoy. If you went and saw the film and liked it, then this would probably be a good buy. I haven’t seen the film and this has not persuaded me to do so.
Mary Cuthbert, 42, fitness instructor, Bingley
Various – The Fabulous 50s (USM) *****
The Fiftiess saw music aimed at the younger generation for the first time, and the teenager was born! The Fabulous 50s comprises more than two hours of hit songs to take you down memory lane. Sixty wonderfully-evocative songs are presented together on this three-disc set. The baby-boomers among us will sigh as they remember such greats as Dean Martin, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, the Everly Brothers and many more. The music is fun, bright and carefree, just as we fondly remember our formative years.
Daphne Rowbotham, 60, retired, Shipley