Susan Getz keeps the spirit of West Coast Cool alive on her debut recording, Jazz Boxx. She exhibits her jazz/pop sensibility with Robert Palmer's "Honeymoon" as well as Lennon/McCartney's "Long and Winding Road" and "Come Together." All three selections showcase Getz's warmth and tenderness.
Another facet of Getz's artistry is her distinctive interpretation of Great American Songbook standards. She offers her interpretation of "That's All," "Cry Me a River," "My Buddy" and "I Fall in Love Too Easily." Of these four, "That's All" truly stands out. Getz's arrangement and delivery are memorable. She sings with such disarming innocence that her interpretation reminds one of a girl in love for the first time. In doing so, the declaratory nature of Alan Brandt and Bob Haymes' lyric is transformed into that of a girl praying not to have her heart broken.
Worthy of note are Susan Getz's originals, which truly highlight her potential. Her songs fit hand in glove with her voice and style. "Say Goodbye to Love" is a hauntingly beautiful piece. Her phrasing is sparse, allowing the listener to reflect upon each idea. "Peace Dream" and "The Birthday Song for Caroline" are honest in their apparent simplicity, yet complex in execution and emotional underpinning.
Unfortunately, there are some intonation issues throughout this CD. For one to sing this soft and intimate, finding the center of a pitch can prove to be a difficult undertaking. In spite of this issue, Susan Getz's intentions, intimacy, lyricism, and passion for the music shine through.
Track Listing: Honeymoon; The Long and Winding Road; Say Goodbye to Love; That's All; Come Together; I Need Your Love So Bad; Peace Dream; Cry Me a River; My Buddy; I Fall In Love Too Easily; The Birthday Song for Caroline; Song for My Lover
Personnel: Susan Getz (Vocals, Piano on "Song for My Lover"); Leonard Thompson (Piano, Hammond B-3); David Ewell (Bass); Jemal Ramirez (Percussion); Joel Ryan (Trumpet)
I was first exposed to jazz while working overseas in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I would listen to the Voice of America on the radio and they had a nightly jazz program on at 10:00pm. I learned a lot about jazz listening to this program. I also had a friend who listened to real jazz by artists like Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy and Archie Shepp. On my way home from Africa I landed in New York and had the opportunity to see the George Adams/Don Pullen quartet at the Village Vanguard as well as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter at another club, and was in heaven.