Wisconsin singer Jill Jensen's first album features the guitar of Jack Grassel which is a perfect foil for Jensen's soft, sensuous vocalizing. Often singing with a breathy style, Jensen enters into that vocal domain whose major inhabitant is the hushed one, Peggy Lee. Other times, Jensen becomes assertive such as on a swinging "You'd Be so Nice to Come Home to". This cut spotlights the vibes playing of Rick Embach and a gentle drum solo by Ernie Adams. Irrespective of tempo or mannerism, Jensen puts a special stamp on each of the seven songs on the agenda. "I'm all Smiles", a song favored by Betty Carter, is done waltz style with Jensen's vocals lagging behind Grassel's guitar.
A problem with the album is that there isn't enough of it. Jensen has a pleasant voice with good diction and phrasing and more than average range which she uses to good effect. But with just 30 minutes of playing time, it's unduly rationed. Next time the menu needs to be fuller. If you're willing to overlook the parsimonious playing time, this album is very much recommended. Visit Jill's Internet home at www.jilljensen.com and Jack Grassel's at www.jackgrassel.com.
Track Listing: Where or When; You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to; It Had to Be You; I'm all Smiles; One for My Baby; Skylark; Witchcraft
I love jazz because it's sophisticated, international, atmospheric yet free, cool and warm.
I was first exposed to jazz through the sultry voice and flawless swing of my mother.
I met Mark Murphy, David Linx, Kurt Elling, and Youn Sun Nah.
The best show I ever attended was Youn Sun Nah in Paris.
The first jazz record I bought was Native Dancer by Wayne Shorter and Milton Nascimento
My advice to new listeners: open your mind and your ears, forget about structure, feel the textures.
Go see live music and keep buying CDs!