(With Iskandar Ismail, piano; Larry Goldings, B-3; Darke Oles, bass; Joe LaBarbera, drums; Anthony Wilson, guitar; Ron Stout, trumpet; Ricky Woodard, sax; Aaron Serfaty, percussion; John Campbell, vibes; Howlett Smith, whistler)
First of all, it’s yah-SIN-tah; I’ve been mispronouncing it all these years. If Jacintha Abisheganaden – product of a Singapore East Indian father and a Chinese mother – can deliver English lyrics with such precision and lack of accent, the least we can do is pronounce her name properly, eh? She’s also a well-known actress in Singapore, so it fitting that her 14th album takes her to Hollywood. Bit of trivia: she’s also a judge on the local TV show Singapore Idol.
The nine tunes are all from movies, natch, and they’re all hugely popular ones. No effort was made to include an obscure discovery or two. Jacintha’s backing band is always top-flight and this one is no exception. Hadn’t heard of the pianist but he’s excellent; Larry Goldings is only heard on B-3 on one track. Guitarist Wilson, who has a couple of killer albums on Groove Note, is a standout, and also together with pianist Ismail did the tasteful arrangements. Jacintha works very close to the mike for a sexy and intimate sound something like the jazz thrushes of the 1950s- Peggy Lee etc. She is the No. 1 jazz vocalist with many audiophiles due to the high technical standards of Groove Note and the excellence of their product – whether on SACD, standard CD or vinyl. By the way, the recording session was held in Hollywood, so she really did go there!
TrackList: On Days Like These, Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, Alfie, Windmills of Your Mind, California Dreaming, A Man And a Woman, Easy Living, Que Sera Sera, The Summer Knows.
– John Henry