Hollie Baines, based in New Jersey, has been performing jazz, standards, blues and contemporary material regularly since the mid-1990s. On her newest release, A Little Bit Blue, she infuses the blues into a wide variety of jazzy material. Baines is joined by guitarist-musical director Doug Clarke, bassist Steve Varner, drummer Rudy Petchauer, Steve Jankowski on trumpet and flugelhorn and production, and either John Simon or Tommy Labella on reeds. The set begins with a powerful version of “Please Send Me Someone To Love” that reveals Hollie Baines to be a real powerhouse, assisted by Labella’s alto (which recalls Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson). Other highlights of this enjoyable CD include Jobim’s “Meditation”, “Soft Winds”; Joe Sample’s swinging “Soul Shadows” and Abbey Lincoln’s “Throw It Away”. Hollie Baines puts plenty of feeling into everything she sings on A Little Bit Blue, and her highly expressive vocals are a joy to hear.”
- Scott Yanow, author of The Jazz Singers, The Great Jazz Guitarists, Jazz On Film and Jazz On
In Hollie Baines’ older press material, a reviewer named Kelly-Jane Cotter of the Asbury Park Press offers very understated praise: “Baines has a warm voice that demands attention.” To put it mildly! While she has entertained thousands putting that warm voice in the service of jazz standards for years, it’s wonderful to see her tap into her love of soul and blues on her triumphant return, A Little Bit Blue. Aside from the rich emotion of her voice and colorful musical storytelling ability, Hollie is working with exciting veteran musicians whose names you may not know but whose sound is jazz, swing and blues at its best. Rather than choose the same old standards we have heard a thousand times, Hollie opens us to her world via inspired song choices that traverse genres and decades – and which should inspire listeners to research earlier recordings. Haunted beautifully by those “Soul Shadows,” Hollie delivers a recording worthy of every last one of them.
- Jonathan Widran