A Fine Spring Morning
Three years ago, in reviewing Jody Sandhaus' sophomore disc I Think of You, I accused the lovely-voiced Sandhaus of limited emotional sincerity. Now, with the release of her third album, A Fine Spring Morning (CAP), any disconnect between her head and heart seems not only to have diminished but disappeared entirely. Leaning toward standards with an optimistic bent ("Deed I Do," "Can't Help Singing," Duke Ellington's "I Like the Sunrise," Matt Dennis' breezy "Relax") with occasional side trips down darker paths (a superb charcoal-and-purple "All or Nothing at All" and an intriguingly clear-eyed reading of Peggy Lee's typically misty "There'll Be Another Spring") Sandhaus demonstrates estimably fresh depth and maturity. Downy, introspective interpretations of such typically bouncy anthems as Steve Allen's "Picnic" and Bob Haymes' title track are standouts, as is a keenly intelligent treatment of "Love Look Away" that fully captures the tricky pairing of despondence and acuity requisite to the Rodgers and Hammerstein ballad's delicate power.