Monument Ave.

Two seductive records by two unusual jazz singer- pianists. Patricia Barber’s Modern Cool mixes Cassandra Wilson’s spare stylings and k.d. lang’s suave gender play with smart originals and surprising arrangements — she even spins gold from kitsch like Paul Anka’s ”She’s a Lady.” Andy Bey is a jazz vet with a voluptuous, octave-leaping baritone on Shades of Bey that reshapes standards (Ellington’s ”Pretty Girl”) and canonizes fringe dwellers (Nick Drake’s ”Riverman”). Mainstream kin like Diana Krall and Harry Connick Jr. should be taking notes. Both: A-

Monument Ave.
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