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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
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.