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"Late Bloomer" Review
Jazz Improv Magazine - Spring 2006

Becky Gonzales Hughes had an unusual request for her 50th birthday. Rather than have a big party or go on a cruise Ms. Hughes had other ideas for her celebration. Becky taught elementary school for the past 28 years sharing her love of music with scores of children. Ms. Hughes loves to teach but she also loves to sing and now it was time to sing. Becky Hughes decided to record a CD for her 50th birthday. Late Bloomer, her first recording, is that CD. Luckily, Becky is married to Luther Hughes, the great jazz bassist and educator. He was able to gather together the very capable musicians Llew Matthews on keyboards, Ron Escheté on guitar and Paul Kreibich on drums and percussion to accompany his wife on her birthday present. You might be thinking at this point--please, not another vanity project. The difference in this recording is that Ms. Hughes really can sing and the accompanying quartet is top notch.

The CD contains a nice mix of standards very much in a medium tempo groove. Ms. Hughes voice is pleasantly fresh and engaging. The rhythm section does a wonderful job accompanying Ms. Hughes, providing the perfect counterpoint to her vocals. Particularly noted is the fine arco playing displayed by Luther Hughes on bass and the classics "How Insensitive" and "Meditation." Llew Matthews also provides some very tasty keyboard throughout. This is the perfect "late evening" recording to relax by.

Becky Hughes birthday CD Late Bloomer is a wonderful first effort. Becky's sweet and unassuming vocal style will get the attention of many listeners. I'd Be curious to hear Ms. Hughes after she has gotten out and played some dates with this band before live audiences. With just a bit more experience and "seasoning" she has the potential to be a truly great singer. Hey Becky--what do your students think of their teacher now?