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In the eternal search for new and exciting jazz vocalists, Jody Sandhaus is a good name to know, especially in light of the fact that this is her third album over the course of the past four years.
Sandhaus has a cool and detached delivery that evokes the deification of the 1950s femme jazz vocalist (eg. Chris Connor, June Christy). When she sings "There'll Be Another Spring," it is distinctly the same way that Peggy Lee performed it without any sense of imitation. If I were to make a comparison with Jody Sandhaus, my most likely reference would be the late Irene Kral.
Instead of the usual up-tempo "happy" opening track, Sanhaus daringly opens with Bob Haymes' "A Fine Spring Morning," which has become indelibly associated with singer/pianist Blossom Dearie. It's a perfect jazz/cabaret piece with hooks, wit and sophistication. The standard "Deed I Do," on the other hand, is treated to an up-tempo delivery with an assured handling and scat on the break. Duke Ellington's "I Like The Sunrise" from The Iberian Suite is not one of the better known ducal classics, but it's certainly one of the most tuneful. When it is performed, the song is usually sung by a big-voiced male band singer in the Ellington mode, like Milt Grayson. Here, Jody Sandhaus presents it as a song of love and hope.
In order to capitalize on the success of the mid 1950s William Holden-Kim Novak film, Steve Allen wrote lyrics to the "Theme from Picnic" by George Dunning. This most worthy ballad is given a rare airing by Sandhaus with which I have one objection. In the final chorus, the lyrics read:
"...Now when days grow stormy, and lonely for me I just recall Picnic time with you..."
This new version has the following change:
"...Now when days grow stormy, and cloudy for us I just recall Picnic time with you..."
To someone not familiar with the song, it may only affect the rhyme scheme, but to anyone who has listened to this tune for many decades, in addition to breaking the rhyming pattern, it disturbs the lyric flow.
The singer's husband, Pete Malinverni, is the sensitive pianist for this session and provides both lyrical and sure-footed playing, while veterans Todd Coolman on bass and Leroy Williams on drums keep the beat and sizzle going.
Track Listing: A Fine Spring Morning, Deed I Do, Picnic, All Or Nothing At All, There'll Be Another Spring, Whatever Lola Wants, Get Out of Town, I Like The Sunrise, Relax, Don't Ever Leave Me, Can't Help Singing, Love Look Away.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.