Anne Hall’s latest record, Wonderful, may have been released in the summer, but it makes for far more appropriate autumnal listening. With Maxwell Gualtieri producing and Grammy-winning engineer John Baffa at the boards, Hall’s most recent outing pits her passionate and often staggering vocals against a lilting wash of brass and woodwind. While Hall’s voice is enough to carry a tune, Wonderful’s instrumentation and immaculate sonics drive these songs home: See the dueling stereophonic woodwinds in the bridge of opener “Have They Told You” or the Stax bubble bass and electric guitar stabs in should-be hit “Withstand The Pain.” Not merely an accomplished singer, Hall is also a great songwriter: 12 of the 13 tracks off Wonderful are original compositions (the only exception being a subdued cover of the Sam Cooke classic “You Send Me”). The record’s best moments are undoubtedly when Hall is backed up by her band, but the fact that a song like the vulnerable “Dreamin’ ” can still be interesting as a solo performance is testament to Hall’s abilities as both a composer and vocalist.
Available at www.annehallmusic.com