Jill Seifers: The Night We Called It A Day


The Night We Called It A Day


Jill Seifers (vocals)


Birdland Sessions (Koch Jazz 8574)

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Jill Seifers (vocals), Michael Kanan (piano).

Composed by Matt Dennis & Tom Adair


Recorded: Birdland, New York, March 15 & 22, 1998


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

Jill Seifers appeared on the New York scene a little more than a decade ago, made two wonderful albums on her own and appeared on recordings with Ingrid Jenson and Vincent Herring. She also worked in pop music, singing backups for Shawn Colvin and Jessica Simpson, and sang in a rock group called Yes Virginia. She’s now known as Jill Walsh, lives in Nashville, and has recorded several jazz duo albums with pianist Mika Pohjola.

Her remarkable reading of the Matt Dennis-Tom Adair standard “The Night We Called It A Day” should be required listening for any jazz vocalist. Seifers creates a personalized interpretation without changing a note of the original song! Instead, she uses a few well-placed downward slides (most notably on “the hoot of an owl”) and an exceptional control of dynamics to bring out the meaning of the words. Seifer’s pure soprano voice conveys a sense of innocence and that makes the song’s dramatic story even more effective. What makes the performance extra-special is that Seifers and Kanan include the verse to this song (Did you know this song had a verse—and in major?). Kanan plays the verse as an extended intro, then Seifers sings the whole thing through before moving to the chorus. Like Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit”, the extended prelude is there because the performance of the chorus is so powerful that nothing else could follow.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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