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Jazz vocalist Jenny Evans, born and raised in Britain, has been a resident of Munich for many years. Sometimes when she scats, one can almost detect a hint of a German accent. But although her career has been based wholly in Europe, Evans’s passion is the Great American Songbook. Delving into material such as "Willow Weep for Me," "In a Mellow Tone," and "Honeysuckle Rose," she displays a voice that is deep and golden-toned. Her intonation is perfect — maybe even too perfect. A little more rough-edged spontaneity might have made the session less ordinary, especially on such often-played standards as "Caravan" and "Softly As In A Morning Sunrise." "April In Paris" is lackluster, not to mention a tad too fast — the beautiful bridge rushes right by.
That said, Evans really knows how to get around these songs, and so does her band. Trumpeter Dusko Goykovich and tenor saxophonist Gianni Basso often team up to play inspired shout choruses; when Evans joins them as a third "horn," it sounds like a mini big band. Basso’s solo style is delightfully old-school. All three collaborated on the lively "That’s What Zoot Said," dedicated to the late Zoot Sims; Goykovich and Evans co-wrote the other two originals of the session, "Good Old Days" and "The Song of Autumn," both minor-key ballads. Solid playing is also the norn for pianist David Gazarov, bassist Branko Pejakovic, and drummer/producer Rudi Martini.
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.