“There’s perfume burning in the air / Bits of beauty everywhere,” sings jazz pianist-vocalist Anjani on the opener to Blue Alert, her third album. “Shrapnel flying / Soldier hit the dirt / She comes so close, you feel her then / She tells you no, and no again / Your lip is cut on the edge of her pleated skirt / Blue alert.”
Even in this, a gently piano-driven song, Anjani upholds her claim that she’s “wilder than you’ll ever be.”Anjani sang backup for Leonard Cohen for more than 20 years while also playing the jazz club circuit. With her, Cohen co-wrote and co-produced Blue Alert. The songs are shared memories from experienced, romantic lives, the lyrics sometimes enigmatic or ambiguous, or at least poetic, and often concerned with beginnings and endings.
Her playing is tasteful and judiciously supported by moderate bits of bass, brushed drum, sax, and other unobtrusive sound effects from time to time. The package comes with a DVD that includes a couple of performances and some details about the making of the disc. If you’re in the mood for molasses-sweet songs about the human condition, it’s a good choice for a late-evening listen. Just sit back and let the mood, the music, and the words slowly pour over you.-Tom Geddie