"There is a strong body of American sings that have been adopted by jazz musicians and turned into the musical catalogue fondly known as "standards." But the original identity of these songs, mostly as vintage show tunes, the fruits of Broadway's pre-TV era heyday, is sometimes overlooked.

That pre-jazz, cabaret-ish style is the road taken by Ojai-based vocalist Anne Kerry Ford on her impressive debut CD, "In the Nest of the Moon."

Though it's a polished production, there is a strong homegrown aspect to it, tight down to the title, a translation of the Chumash word "Ojai." The CD was recently released by a small, Ojai- based company, Illyria Records.

Kerry Ford, the wife of celebrated guitarist Robben Ford, has a clear, controlled voice, a warm vibrato, and no blues or identifiably jazz touches when she approaches tunes such as Kurt Weill's "Speak Low," "You Go to My Head." or "For All We Know" (the 1934 number, not the Carpenters' hit).

Although she includes Alan Chapman's 1995 tune "I know I Am but Simmer to Your Heart," Henry Mancini's "Two for the Road from 1967, and Stephen Sondheim's 1966 tune, "I Remember." the main focus is Broadway circa the '30s and '40s.

For those of us steeped in jazz lore, Kerry Ford's attractive package reminds us whence the repertoire came. For the rest, it's simply a celebration of American popular song, from outside the prevailing pop mainstream. Call them old-fashioned, but these songs gain dignity with age, well- placed innuendoes and all."

Joseph Woodard, L.A. Times (3/13/97)