Jacintha-autumn_leaves_span3
September 2000

Jacintha
Autumn Leaves: The Songs of Johnny Mercer
Groove Note Records

Singapore-born-and-raised Jacintha follows her recent collection of Ben Webster-associated ballads with another tribute, this time to lyricist Mercer. Favoring the time-stands-still tempos of Shirley Horn and echoing the honeyed tenderness of the late Brazilian vocalist Sylvia Telles, Jacintha embraces 10 Mercer standards with her deceptively fragile, accent-free, pitch-perfect voice. (Mysteriously, two-thirds of "Autumn Leaves" showcases Jacques Prevert's French lyric, and a bonus track, "Here's to Life", has nothing to do with the album's theme, though it underscores Jacintha's stylistic link with Horn.) The most adventurous performance is a three-chorus, eight and 1/2 minute "Moon River" that opens with the singer's a cappella presentation of the song, segues into pianist Kei Akagi's spare, dissonant deconstruction of the melody and ends with the duo blending its divergent approaches to the Mancini-Mercer composition. The only unsuccessful cut is "Something's Got to Give", taken at a clip much too brisk for the vocalist's comfort. Teddy Edwards' tenor sax solos complement one of the loveliest and least affected new voices in jazz.

Originally published in September 2000
BUY THIS ALBUM from Amazon.com
STREAM THIS CD from Rhapsody.com

Add a Comment

You need to log in to comment on this article. No account? No problem!