Recently, NPR's been airing segments on the best songs for summer. If jazz is your thing, I'd recommend Eden Atwood's Turn Me Loose as the perfect album for a Missoula July, as it's sultry, sweet, playful and flawless. Jazz singers remain a rare breed in Montana, and it seems unlikely that Atwood could find a way to honor her Montana heritage in this album, but that's exactly what she does.
The granddaughter of iconic A.B. Guthrie Jr. has sung nationwide, but this collection of 13 tunes is clearly a celebration of coming home. Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In" is an ode to the "wide open country that I love," and the samba-tinged "Home" expounds on the pull toward familiar places.
Atwood's delectable voice is clearly the star of this album, and shows no signs of her vocal surgery two years ago. Her band, however, must get a mention as well—tight, talented and excellently attuned to Atwood's style. Together they offer fresh, original takes on classics like Duke Ellington's "I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good," and Hoagy Carmichael's "Lazy River."
Missoula only has a handful of excellent jazz artists. This album proves how lucky we are Atwood is among them.