But the effort pays off, if its' an artistic result you're looking for. Kerr's fourth album, My Old Flame, based around songs and music associated with Chet Baker, is as 'musicianly' as any purely instrumental set. She's taken enormous trouble over the material, recasting Gerry Mulligan arrangements, turning a solo into superb vocalese in 'Bernie's Tune' duetting with an avuncular Georgie Fame on two numbers, and generally standing tall on what would be a demanding project for the most experienced of singers. If it's taken a dozen years of British work to get to this point, you have to feel it's time well spent.
Richard Cook, Jazz Journal, June 2002 (Extract from interview)
Just when I was running out of patience with the current surfeit of tribute albums, along comes the singer Trudy Kerr's homage to that angelic-looking reprobate Chet Baker. Drawing inspiration from the insouciant Gerry Mulligan Quartet-with Derek Nash taking care of the baritone solos-Kerr and her co-arranger Geoff Gascoyne give the songs a genuinely individual aura. Kerr succeeds in echioing the trumpeter's little-boy-lost vocals without reproducing his dodgy pitch. Dick Pearce stands in for Baker, and the guest singer Georgie Fame adds deft vocalese on You Make Me Feel So Young and But Not for Me. Love for Sale comes over all sassy and funky. Along with her other expat Aussie singers Karen Lane and Anita Wardell, Kerr has made a big impression on British audiences. She gets better with each album.
Clive Davis, The Sunday Times, July 2002
Another late jazz legend, trumpeter Chet Baker, is commemorated on Australian singer Trudy Kerr's latest recording, My Old Flame. Kerr's previous albums have been sparky, wide-ranging affairs showcasing a warmly intimate yet pleasingly informal vocal style as at home with soulful popular music as with straightahead jazz, but on this one she concentrates her considerable talents on material associated with the great West Coast jazzman. Baker was a singing trumpeter with a touching, apparently effortless, laid-back style on both vocals and instrument, and Kerr's ease and assurance stand her in good stead on an intelligently varied set embracing Baker's sung favourites, tunes associated with his most enduring band (the one co-led with baritone player Gerry Mulligan), and the odd piece of vocalese (sung solos with lyrics instead of instrumental improvisations). To aid her in this last category, Kerr has enlisted the British master of the form, Georgie Fame, who duets with her on some familiar Baker fare, but a superb band including Dick Pearce (trumpet and flugelhorn), Derek Nash (Baritone) and husband Geoff Gascoyne (bass) enables her not only to pay tribute to, but also shed new and revealing light on, Chet Baker's recording legacy, and the result is a thoroughly musicianly infectious joyous recording.
Chris Parker, BBC Music Magazine, August 2002
Kerr is an Australian who has been slowly and surely building a reputation on the British scene. This CD is sub-titled 'Remembering Chet Baker' and is a collection of songs associated with the late trumpeter-and-sometime-vocalist, particularly from his halcyon days with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. Which explains one of the records most attractive features: the largely pianoless backing, featuring trumpet and baritone sax (a la Mulligan group). Its's a format which allows oodles of space for the warmtoned Ms Kerr to roam around the excellent selection of mostly late Tin Pan Alley songs. She gets so typically good-natured help from Georgie Fame on a couple of numbers, as well as a crack team of first-call UK jazz musicians (including trumpeter Dick Pearce and drummer Sebastiaan de Krom, not to mention his husband Geoff Gascoyne). It can be hard to get past the famous versions of songs like You Make Me Feel So Young or Makin Whoopee, but Kerr is healthily unawestruck in a typically Antipodean kind of way, and makes the lyrics her own.
Brian Glasser, HMV Choice, July/August 2002