British singer Liz Fletcher isn't as widely known on the UK jazz scene as Claire Teal, Anita Wardell, Trudy Kerr, or the doyenne Clare Martin. But if she has an undemonstrative style that makes light of her sophisticated technique, and inhabits a song with a stillness that can seem almost diffident, Fletcher is the real deal, and she doesn't copy anybody else. Those with edgier tastes should note that this is mostly a mainstream jazz set of standard songs and compatibly bluesy or Latin originals.
But Fletcher's inventiveness is clear on her own Why? She also brings a clear-sighted intelligence to Early Autumn and a hint of a soul singer's earthiness to Abbey Lincoln's Not to Worry. The arrangements – for a fine sextet including trumpeter Martin Shaw and saxist/flautist Andy Panayi, are a bit uneven, but the solos are good - particularly Panayi's flute breaks, which are highly attuned to his leader's walking-on-water style.