"This 13-track session epitomizes an old formula polished to perfection. First, handpick a repertoire with particularly poetic lyrics. Next, add a jazz combo that keeps the vibe at a slow simmer. And finally, top it off with a vocalist who caresses the lyrics but never jangles the nerves. Although this seems like a recipe for boredom, quite the opposite is true on Out of the Shadows, the subtly intoxicating sophomore recording by Canadian chanteuse Maureen Kennedy. The set list shares star billing with the singer and her precisely phrased, coyly understated delivery...Although this is only her second recording, it's doubtful that Kennedy will be underappreciated for long."
“If you’ve read these reviews for an extended period of time, it’ll come as no surprise to hear me reiterate my preference for singers who avoid glitz, glitter, froth and frosting; singers with the life experience and natural jazz chops to deliver the meaning of a quality lyric rather than just glossing over it. Kennedy is such a singer. No flash, no fancy footwork. She sings it like she means it. The quartet accompanying her, led by the silky guitar of Reg Schwager, is totally dialed in. And with Kennedy’s flawless phrasing and unforced intimacy, there’s a lot to like in her renditions of top-tier selections such as “Cloudy Morning,” “There’s a Lull in My Life,” “How Can We Be Wrong,” “Lucky So And So” and two real rarities, the Gershwins’ “My One and Only,” and Andre Previn’s “Just for Now.” Kennedy is that rare presence, a real jazz singer; and her new CD is a winner.”
“If only other emerging jazz singers were able (or willing) to produce a song selection as fresh as this one. ”
“Toronto jazz singer Maureen Kennedy clearly owes a good part of her style to the cool femme vocalists of the 1950s and '60s. There's a lot of the vibrato-less vocal technique of singers like Helen Merrill and Irene Kral in her delivery, even though she doesn't particulary sound like either of them. In addition to having a distinct jazz vocal style, Kennedy stands out on the basis of the song selection on this album, her debut. If only other emerging jazz singers were able (or willing) to produce a song selection as fresh as this one. ”