"Don't Look Before You Sing" is the fifth compact disc release for jazz songwriter Ellen Vanderslice. It's an eclectic compilation with divergent overtones, from western swing to a "chanson triste" that takes you straight to the boulevards of Paris. It includes the popular novelty tango, "The Probability of Love," and veers off into a poetic experiment with techno house electronica. Singers Rebecca Kilgore, Tom Grant, Marilyn Keller and Amandah Jantzen each take a turn at the mic, as does Ellen herself.
Some of Portland, Oregon's, finest jazz musicians are featured accompanying the fabulous vocals. The roster includes Phil Baker, Dan Balmer, Mike Horsfall, Harley James, Paul Mazzio, Reinhardt Melz, George Mitchell, Tony Pacini, Dan Presley, Eli Reisman, Mike Snyder, John Standefer, Ron Steen, Dick Titterington, Courtney Van Drehle, and Lee Wuthenow.
Fans of Rebecca Kilgore will find she headlines on four tracks, including "Après L'Amour," which won best song in the Blues/Jazz/R&B category of the Portland Songwriters Association 2003 International Song Contest, "Fiona the Femme Fatale," "Someday He'll Break Your Heart (the Way He Broke Mine)," and, channeling Patsy Cline, "Why Am I the Last to Know?"
Tom Grant plays and sings "A Pleasant Interlude." Amandah Jantzen sings about romance amid particle physics in "The Probability of Love," while Marilyn Keller rocks the house in "Puppy Dog Blues." Ellen herself covers "That's It!," "How Sweet to Meet Again," and the Horsfall tune she's written lyrics to, "To Have, To Hold, To Love," perfect for weddings! The last few minutes of the album are devoted to spoken word and electronica, ending with the brief but rousing, "There Better Be Pie in Heaven," which features Patrick Scofield's vocal harmonizing with Ellen.