LOS ANGELES TIME
'The Cole Porter Mix' Review
November 14, 2008

Back from the distant roots of her last album - "Mythologies" - Barber dip into some 20th century mythology via the inimitable songs of Cole Porter.  And keep that word "inimitable" in mind, because what makes this program unique is the inclusion of three Barber originals - "Late Afternoon and You," "Snow" and "The New Year's Eve Song" - clearly inspired by Porter.  Barber's interpretations of the Porter originals are the soul of cool, understated yet intense, blending words and music with a deceptively offhand manner that instantly demands closer listening, more involvement with songs such as "What Is This Thing Called Love?," "You're the Top" and "Get Out of Town."  Her own tunes are in some respects even more fascinating.  Barber has displayed great songwriting versatility over the years, but this particular challenge has brought out some of her finest work.  Yes, inspired by Porter, but a deep reflection of Barber's own, most intimate lyrical personality.  Listen, too, for the fine tenor saxophone fills by Chris Potter, especially his wildly out of context, but fascinating nonetheless, set of choruses on "In the Still of the Night."  Definitely not still.