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Suzy Bogguss

Swing – 2003 (Compadré)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

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CDs by Suzy Bogguss

At first blush, it might seems as though Suzy Bogguss and Ray Benson would make strange professional bedfellows. But it just so happens that when the '80s/'90s country superstar started out, jazz standards and swing numbers were a staple of her developing repertoire, and when she started earning her keep on the road as an opening act, she spent a lot of time in front of Asleep at the Wheel. Her friendship with big Wheel Benson has paid off on her first new album in three years, where Bogguss shows off her exquisite chops in the western swing/jazz idiom while producer/performer Benson and a few past/current Wheels give her a silky smooth background to play against. Bogguss' added talent is in being able to inhabit standards like Nat King Cole's "Straighten Up and Fly Right" and Duke Ellington's "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me" and pepper them among contemporary compositions by Paul Kramer, April Barrows and herself and sell them with the same conviction and authenticity. "Swing" is not Bogguss' attempt to cash in on a trend, it's a notice that she can do damn near anything she wants.