The Nashville jazz singer gets help from local heavyweights on Countrypolitan Duets‘ big band country standards: Lady Antebellum lend creamy harmonies to ”Walkin’ After Midnight,” while Ray Price himself shows up on ”You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me.” Yet they’re all outsung by American Idol‘s Matt Giraud, who thrillingly channels Ray Charles on ”You Don’t Know Me.” B Download This:Soulful You Don’t Know Me at Last.fm .
As top country songwriters, Anna Wilson and her husband, Monty Powell, carry considerable water in Nashville, and that allows them to indulge as a side project Wilson's career as a jazz singer, with Powell as her producer, on their own Transfer Records label. It also gives them access to some of the country artists they've written for, such as Lady Antebellum and Keith Urban, who are among her duet partners on this album, devoted to jazz arrangements of country standards. Others, such as veterans Connie Smith, Ray Price, Billy Dean, and Kenny Rogers, doubtless were only too happy to join in, along with noted jazz and country instrumentalists Larry Carlton, Rick Braun, and Lloyd Green.
Countrypolitan Duets finds pop-country songwriter and occasional jazz singer Anna Wilson joined by an all-star roster of current country A-listers and genre legends, along with some big-name jazz performers, covering some classic country songs in the context of lush, gently swinging arrangements. Wilson is a fine vocalist, with a smooth, perfectly controlled soprano that lends itself well to performing pop standards. While many of the best country singers are those with distinctive, soulful senses of phrasing, Wilson’s voice is crisp and pretty, and it’s well-suited to the big-band and smooth-jazz arrangements she’s crafted here.