So Many Stars CD

"The catalyst for So Many Stars was pianist and arranger Chris Rutkowski, who met Ramsey while she was working a job with the Tom Mullinix big band. "He said, 'I really enjoy your voice and I think we could work really well together,'" Ramsey remembers. After playing a few shows together (along with bassist Frank Smith) and recording six tracks towards a possible record, the two decided to complete the album, and Rutkowski set about recruiting a drummer and saxophonist. Kenny Phelps signed on as drummer, and Bloomington-based saxophonist Tom Walsh rounded out the instrumentation.

The band approaches the 12 jazz and pop standards on the record with little embellishment, letting Ramsey go to work over simple but energetic arrangements. The jazz standards work best on the album: a rueful "Here's That Rainy Day" recorded with only piano, and crisp, light and playful takes on up-tempo songs like "Avalon" and "Never Will I Marry." ...it's her intelligent and understated facility with those songs in the jazz corpus that makes So Many Stars an impressive debut."

Scott Shoger, "Heather Ramsey" NUVO, November 26, 2008

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