On her new album, Harlem on My Mind, Russell makes well-worn jazz classics ("I Can't Believe You're in Love with Me," "The Very Thought of You," "You've Got the Right Key but the Wrong Key Hole," "Blue Going Grey over You," "You're My Thrill," "When Lights are Low" etc.) her own with new arrangements, five by the album's sax player Andy Farber.
Russell arranged the horns on "Talk to Me, Talk to Me." One of Russell's favorites is "Swing! Brother, Swing!," a high-energy, hip-moving Billie Holiday tune. "I like combing the early Billie Holiday, not only the later stuff and the ballads that everyone is familiar with," she says.
Russell sang back-up for David Bowie, duetted with Paul Simon on "Slip Slidin' Away" during his 1993 Concert of a Lifetime, danced from age 8 till 12 at the Metropolitan Opera's Aida. Her voice has been on more than 200 albums. But as a soloist, she is most at home with jazz and blues, and it's there she swings most convincingly.
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