Album: Jessye Norman, Roots: My Life, My Song (Sony Classical)

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The Independent Culture

Recorded at concerts in Munich, Frankfurt and Berlin, this two-disc set is Jessye Norman's own appraisal of her musical life, from spirituals through jazz and show-tunes, with "Habanera" from Carmen the sole indication that she has a classical background.

But her training is inescapable: the a cappella spiritual "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" is too tightly strapped into its conservatoire corset, while a truncated "Somewhere" from West Side Story is delivered with excessive gusto. She's much more relaxed on "My Baby Just Cares For Me" and "Stormy Weather", easing open the emotion, rather than forcing it out; and her "Mack The Knife" is superb.

DOWNLOAD THIS Mack The Knife; My Baby Just Cares For Me; Stormy Weather