Hinda Hoffman: Moon and Sand

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Several years have passed since last I heard Hinda Hoffman, and I’d almost forgotten what an absolutely marvelous singer she is. It’s good to be reminded of that, even though Hinda did have to produce this second album herself, as she did her first one. So why can’t someone with such conspicuous talent get a break? Why does she have to scratch out a living in Chicago, singing wherever and whenever she can find an open mic, while the Diana Kralls, Cassandra Wilsons and Nnenna Freelons of the world — none of whom, in our opinion, can hold a candle to Hinda — command generous recording contracts, light up festival marquees and earn mega–buck guarantees? I have a theory, and it is this: even though Hinda has a wonderful contralto voice, near–perfect diction, enormous respect for a lyric, a keen sense of rhythm enhanced by an incisive feeling for Jazz inflection, and — brace yourselves — actually sings on–key, she lacks the one ingredient that our image–conscious society prizes more highly than talent, and that is glamor. Dress Hinda Hoffman in the finest furs and jewelry and she’d still be Hinda Hoffman, only dressier. Don't get me wrong; Hinda's not unattractive or anywhere near that, but she is, to put it as discreetly as possible, an average-looking brunette who happens to own an amazingly above-average singing voice. If — and we can’t be certain that’s the case — if Hinda’s less–than–provocative appearance counts as one strike against her, her determination to be a Jazz singer is no doubt another, and the third could well be the fact that she chooses to live in Chicago, not New York or L.A. Add ’em up and the result is that many people won’t hear her impressive renditions of “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good),” “Deep Purple,” “Comes Love” and so many other memorable songs, and that is their loss, as Hinda pours her heart and soul into every number on this exemplary CD. As the late Steve Allen, a superb connoisseur of talent, observes in the album’s brief liner note, Hoffman is “one of the best singers in the business. She’s the real thing, a singer with not only a fine voice, but an authentic feeling for Jazz. You can understand her every word, and her simple sound is just lovely. For you ‘excellent freaks’ out there, [this album] is a treat.” We should add that she’s also an astute appraiser of songs, carefully reinvigorating Alec Wilder’s “Moon and Sand” and such other sleeping princes as “Day by Day,” “Wonder Why,” “Our Day Will Come” and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Dreamer” (lyrics by Gene Lees). To her credit, she sings Dave Frishberg’s seductive “Peel Me a Grape” her way, with any allusions to Blossom Dearie no more than coincidental. On that number, as on every other, Hoffman receives unflagging support from pianist Dennis Luxion (who divides time with Ron Perrillo), bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer George Fludas. Hinda Hoffman is indeed, as Allen affirms, “the real thing,” and Moon and Sand is one of the few vocal albums to earn a permanent home in this finicky Jazz-lover's record library, in recompense for which I've one small favor to ask — on your next album, Hinda, if there is to be one, please include your delightful version of the Gershwins' "Little Jazz Bird."

Contact:Hinda Hoffman, 1200 W. Chase, Suite 3A, Chicago, IL 60626 (phone 773–508–0912).

Track Listing: Wonder Why; Deep Purple; Whisper Not; The Lamp Is Low; Flower Medley (Lotus Blossom, A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing); Our Day Will Come; Day Dream; Comes Love; Dreamer; Day by Day; I Got It Bad (And That Ain

Personnel: Hinda Hoffman, vocals; Dennis Luxion (1, 3, 8, 11

| Record Label: Expunged Records | Style: Vocal


CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Sarah Vaughan Sarah Vaughan
Ella Fitzgerald Ella Fitzgerald
Sarah DeLeo Sarah DeLeo
Carmen McRae Carmen McRae
Peggy Lee Peggy Lee
Patti Wicks Patti Wicks
Bob Lark Bob Lark
Solitaire Miles Solitaire Miles
Opie Bellas Opie Bellas
Rose Colella Rose Colella
Nadine Chase

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Man Made Object" CD/LP/Track Review Man Made Object
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 10, 2016
Read "Imagine That" CD/LP/Track Review Imagine That
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Suite Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Suite Ellington
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 26, 2016
Read "Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs" CD/LP/Track Review Discoveries on Tracker Action Organs
by John Eyles
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Things Are Looking Up" CD/LP/Track Review Things Are Looking Up
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 9, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!