Jill Seifers: The Night We Called It A Day

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.

April 02, 2009 · 0 comments


Jan Lundgren: Angel Eyes

The fact that one of today's finest straight-ahead jazz pianists should be Swedish is nothing to wonder about. Europe, and specifically Scandinavia, has seen a lot of U.S. musicians come and preach the good word during the last decades (think of Dexter, Getz, Marsh, Red Mitchell, et al.), and their disciples have flowered. Lundgren's refined piano touch is a source of constant wonder on this ballad. He swings and improvises with the help of his excellent American partners in a delicate but never introverted manner, and his trio gives a truly timeless version of this beautiful standard.

February 27, 2008 · 0 comments


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