Orna: The Very Thought Of You (2003)
The South African-born vocalist Orna, carrying a distinctive lightness in her highly accurate vocal delivery, sits down with Brian Bromberg and a stellar ensemble for a session that revels in its simplicity. Favoring a light samba lilt and surrounded, in part, by synth strings, the persuasive singer gives pause to one of those rainy days we’ve been dreaming of. Her debut stands apart as an album just made for kicking back and takin’ the afternoon off. The title track brings a smile to one’s face, as the realization sinks in that good jazz ballad singers are once again pulling in high ratings. Straight-ahead jazz and smooth jazz have another champion. When Orna’s trio takes turns soloing and trading fours with the drummer, they’re simply reminding today’s generations that great music is timeless.
After graduation from South Africa’s University of Witwatersrand in 1993, Orna studied film scoring at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. She cites Chet Baker, Shirley Horn and Sting as major vocal influences. When she scats in unison with bass on Charlie Parker’s “Ornithology,” she proves that she can handle the whole world of jazz, from early ballads to bebop, the blues, and beyond.
Track Listing: Ntyilo, Ntyilo; Nature Boy; My Ship; The Very Thought of You; That
Personnel: Orna- vocals; Brian Bromberg- acoustic bass, acoustic piccolo bass guitar; Tom Zink- piano, keyboards; Chris Wabich- drums, percussion; Tony Guerrero- trumpet, flugelhorn; Gannin Arnold- guitar; Gary Meek- flute.