Russ Peterson,
When You're Smiling
(Swallowtail, 2001)

If you were glum before listening to When You're Smiling, you will be pleasantly relaxed and cheered by this delightful offering from Russ Peterson and his musicians. Russ plays a smooth clarinet, and is joined by Bruce Calin on bass, Dick Bortolussi on drums, Ron Seaman on piano ("A Kiss To Build A Dream On"), while Reuben Ristrom and Steven Blons share honours on guitar and Dick Johnson provides an unexpected yet enriching accordion.

This CD has all the classic style and flair one comes to expect of Peterson. With an equally classy line-up of standards such as "On The Sunny Side of the Street," "Bye Bye Blackbird," "September In the Rain" and two of my favourites, "All Of Me" and "Slow Boat To China," in my opinion the man can do no wrong! Like his preceding I Fall In Love Too Easily the listener is transported by the gentle medium of music to a more elegant era, a more leisurely time. Yet Peterson does not drag on the pace, one's foot taps and one's shoulders sway to his intoxicating rhythms. He retains the "joie de vivre" and dazzle of Doris Day's smile in his rendition of "Secret Love" and ends with an upbeat "I Can't Give You Anything But Love."

A great album, mellow yet tasteful, mature enough for the most discerning palate, and a must-have for fans of this genre.

- Rambles
written by Jenny Ivor
published 11 January 2003

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