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Jenny Davis: It Amazes Me (2006)

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Jenny Davis: It Amazes Me How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

In a relaxed, acoustic setting with jazz standards filling the room, Seattle vocalist Jenny Davis combines her comfortable demeanor with a throwback charm that recalls those who have come before. Through her lyric interpretations and wordless scat singing, we can feel the distant memories of masters like Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee and Mel Tormé.

Comparisons can be cruel, of course. However, Davis prefers to sing 'em the way they've been done before. She brings back the memories by giving us our favorite songs. Her band gives her a suitable musical force; but much of it has been done before.

The album's title track swaggers gently under the weight of its lyric message. Here and in several other places, Davis comes close to an imitation of Lena Horne. Her performance is pleasant, the band adds a heartfelt groove, and everything fits musically—but the concept lacks originality.

Dat Dere comes with a bright, uplifting spirit as Davis gives us the child's voice to signal its message. Her vocal range soars magnificently as she's joined by flute in an acrobatic interpretation. Up-tempo burners such as "Scrapple from the Apple and "Honeysuckle Rose feature Davis' powerful vocalese and convincing lyric delivery.

Davis' original "Answer the Call, where she issues a dramatic challenge with ample authority, represents another high point. It's the kind of inspiring message we all need to hear every day. New songs may be the key to her continued success. Davis already has the tools she needs. All that's left are a few new leaves to turn over when the time is right.

Track Listing: It Dont Mean a Thing (If It Aint Got That Swing); Whatll I Do/The Tennessee Waltz; Born to be Blue; Joy Spring; Dindi; It Amazes Me; Dat Dere; Make Someone Happy; Beautiful Love; Scrapple From the Apple/Honeysuckle Rose; You Dont Know What Love Is; Answer the Call; Just Squeeze Me.

Personnel: Jenny Davis: vocals; Willy Ingersoll: alto saxophone; Chuck Easton: guitar, flute, alto saxophone; George Redebaugh: piano, accordion; Ted Enderle: bass; Tim Sheffel: drums.

Record Label: Self Produced

Style: Vocal


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