Chris McNulty: Whispers The Heart (2006)
Whispers The Heart, the sixth album from Chris McNulty, a native-born Australian, continues the positive vibe of last year's Dance Delicioso, with a similar cast of jazz players. McNulty has selected an average collection of tunes, some of which are familiar titles from the Great American Songbook, plus others which make this an interesting package.
The Michel Legrand/Alan and Marilyn Bergman movie song "Summer Me, Winter You," the Bacharach/David '60s hit "Make It Easy On Yourself" (with a guest appearance by Frank Wess on tenor sax), Leonard Bernstein's showtune "Lonely Town," and Abbey Lincoln and Thad Jones' "When Love Was You and Me" (a fine duet with Paul Bollenback) all add to this collection.
It isn't so much any actual tune but McNulty's delivery that places this singer ahead of the crowd. On titles like "How Deep Is The Ocean," McNulty slows the pace down and applies a distinctive cool '50s femme vocalist attitude that really works. On Jobim's "If You Never Came," she sounds very much like Lani Hall singing lead for Sergio Mendes' Brazil '66. Her version of the Cahn/Stordahl/Weston standard "I Should Care" is taken at mid-tempo and given a fine swing treatment. Chris McNulty adds three original tunes ("Springosphere," "Quiet Your Thoughts," "Lullaby For A Young Boy") to the album.
There are also lots of good solo opportunities here for Paul Bollenback's guitar, Ingrid Jensen's flugelhorn, Dave Pietro's tenor sax and flute, and Tineke Postma's alto and soprano sax.
Track Listing: Summer Me; Winter You; Make It Easy On Yourself; Come Rain or Shine; Lonely Town; Springosphere; If You Never Come; How Deep Is The Ocean; Quiet Your Thoughts; I Should Care; Lullaby For A Young Boy; When Love Was You And Me.
Personnel: Chris McNulty: vocals; Paul Bollenback: guitar; Frank Wess: tenor saxophone (2); Ingrid Jensen: flugelhorn; Dave Pietro: tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet; Tineke Postma: alto and soprano saxophone, flute; Gary Versace: piano; Ed Howard: bass; Matt Wilson, Montez Coleman: drums; Rogerio Boccato: percussion.