With her affinity for themed albums (songs associated with Frank Sinatra, Joni Mitchell and Bill Evans), this veteran Milwaukee-reared jazz vocalist has delivered “Screenplay,” a commendable three-star collection of cool treatments of cinema music. She seduces on “What Are You Doing for the Rest of Your Life,” removes the saccharine from “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and adds a finger-snapping hipster vibe to “If I Only Had a Brain.”
The well-traveled blues-rocker, who spent her salad days in the Twin Cities, takes on John Fogerty’s songs on this fall’s inspired “Change in the Weather,” her 15th album. She adds a Tina-like grit, a Bonnie-like swag and her own Southern soul vibe to these swampy rock classics. Highlights: “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” as a slow spiritual and “Don’t You Wish It Was True” as a dobro-spiked front-porch blues duet with Taj Mahal. This year, Magness also authored her memoir “Weeds Like Us,” which addresses suicide, sexual abuse, mental illness, violence and music in her hardscrabble life.